Lleyton's Press Conference - Page 17 - MensTennisForums.com
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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


January 8, 2008, 1st Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Nicolas Mahut 6-3 6-4


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.

Q. What are your thoughts on the match today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was a different kind of match a little bit. Yeah, he, like I thought, he was going to be very flashy and he was. He came up with some big service games, especially early on.
I felt like all in all I returned pretty well today. Yeah, you know, the breaks that I got were because I kept putting a lot of pressure on his service games. It was a little strange because he played a very loose game and looked to be struggling a little bit towards the end of the first set and then played fine after he had a treatment after the end of the first set. It was more keeping my concentration s the second set went on it is.

Q. Are you looking forward to playing Gucc tomorrow?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's a challenge. He's the kind of guy, very similar. Played Wayne Arthurs a few times. Pretty similar to that matchup.
So, yeah, I'm obviously going to have to return well and make him play a lot of balls.

Q. Have you practiced with him a lot?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A bit for Davis Cups. Not a whole heap. Very rarely do I play someone that plays like Gucc in Davis Cup ties.

Q. Did you feel like your game progressed today from before?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to say. It's a tough matchup today against that kind of guy. You're trying to dictate as much as possible, but then again he's going to dictate and make errors as well.
You sort of got to weather the storm with him and try and get as many balls back, and tomorrow's going to be the same situation.

Q. On another subject, Roger Federer is now going to go into the Australian Open without any match practice. Do you think that will make him more vulnerable?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably not. Yeah, between the French Open and Wimbledon he didn't have any matches either and didn't worry him too much last year.
Yeah, he's a good enough player that he's going to get through his first few rounds, and that's probably all he's going need to get his eye in. He had enough matches towards the end last year that it shouldn't be a problem.

Q. Bernard is playing qualifying for the Open now. What sort of challenge does that pose to him? You did that ten years ago.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know Bernard that much, so I don't really know how it's going to go. He's got a pretty nice backhand, and I think his serve and forehand has to have a little bit of work done on it I think, yeah, especially to make that jump into the senior ranks. But I haven't seen him hit enough before it really know.

Q. What sort of advice would you give him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Good luck. No, it's a matter of, yeah, he's just got to go out there and see what happens. A lot depends on the draw and quallies. There's still a lot very good players out there in qualifying for a Grand Slam. He'll need a little bit of luck with the draw I would say.

Q. Was it difficult to regain composure after losing serve in the first set with the line call and all?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not too bad. I felt like he played a good game to break me in the first set. Yeah, and I felt like I was having a lot of opportunities on his service games to put pressure on him. It was a matter of trying to stay on top of that and not get too worried about losing my serve there.
He played a pretty flashy game to break my serve and in the first set. I bounced back straightaway breaking him again. Yeah, that was a huge positive.

Q. Were you happy with your serve today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I served well in patches. Probably towards the end of the match I started serving started getting a bit more rhythm, especially my second serve.
But, yeah, all in all I served reasonably well. The game that I got broken early in the second set I just a lost concentration a little bit. Yeah, he seemed to be struggling with an injury for a couple of games and then he seemed fine. It was more lack of concentration, I think.

Q. How did you think the new surface will affect Rafael Nadal's prospects at the Australian Open, if at all? There was a feeling it was a little bit on the slower side previously.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't think it'll worry him too much. You've seen him play well in Indian Wells. He won last year, tournaments like that, which is a very similar pace I would say. I can't see him having too many problems. He's a good enough player.
He's won in Montreal before on a similar hard court, so I don't think it'll worry him.

Q. On your first match point today you came in and volleyed on his serve. Is that the kind of thing you've been practicing with Rochey?

LLEYTON HEWITT: When I get some opportunities, I guess. It's not my natural game, but to mix it up and put some pressure on him. He came up with a pretty good pass and I was able to hit a real good volley to win that point.
Yeah, the guy actually hit some pretty good passing shots when I came in on him today, so it wasn't that easy to do it.

Q. But you volleyed well. Why is it so much against your instinct to do?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A lot depends on the balls that are -- that you've got to do it off, I guess, as well, and probably who you're playing. Yeah, I guess in the past I've always been more of a counterpuncher, so you still got to be able to take that from the practice court onto the match court and pick the right balls to do it.

Q. Does the racquet technology affect it, the way you serve and volley?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Maybe a little bit. I think every thing is sort of a little bit slower and the balls have probably got heavier over the years as well. Even for a guy like Tim Henman, even though he's retired now, the last two years he's been serving the same the majority of the time, even on a grass court.
So I think just the conditions and probably the balls more so, even on a grass court such as Wimbledon and Queen's. When he's got to serve and stay back you know it's playing a little slow.

Q. So do you feel like you actually are getting a bit more comfortable doing that over the past few months?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm definitely getting more comfortable. Still got to be able to put it into practice though.

Q. So it's still something you have to think about?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Now and then. There's times when you try and do it, especially in this kind of tournament as well. Try and pick your chances and do it when the opportunity's there.

Q. Have you been surprised at accusations that the cricket team play it too hard?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Played too hard?

Q. Yeah, play it too hard.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. I think the Australians have always played the game hard. I think they're a pretty fair team as well. Yeah, it's hard to say. I don't know the ins and outs of what happens on a cricket field at all. I know Adam Gilchrist extremely well, and he's one of most fairest guys I've ever met, one of the nicest guys. I know all the boys and I can't have any bad words to say about any of them.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


January 9, 2008, 2nd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Chris Guccione 6-7(4) 6-7(2)


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are your thoughts on the match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Unlucky. About the only word I can come up with at the moment.

Q. Some 50/50 calls, couple of line calls, maybe that controversial half volley of his


Q. Do you think it was pretty dubious?

LLEYTON HEWITT: There's no way the ball can bounce that way if you've got under that. But with that said, I was I had four breakpoints in the match and I didn't face a breakpoint in the whole match.
I wasn't lucky today. I'm just hoping that all comes together next week.

Q. Chris wants to get into the top 50 this year. Do you think that's achievable for him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: With his game, yeah. Absolutely. He can win matches on all surfaces. He's a dangerous player to play against. He's got one of the best serves in the game, there's no doubt about that, and I think he moves well at the net as well.

Q. Have you been happy with the umpiring decisions in the two matches here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. I feel like cricket is (indiscernible.) What's going on with all the refs these days? Useless.

Q. You sound pretty disappointed.

LLEYTON HEWITT: At the moment I'm pretty frustrated because I felt like I played a pretty good match out there. I felt like I was the better player the whole match and I think the stats showed that.
The first set I had three breakpoints and the second set I had one breakpoint and could have easily been a 4 and 4 out there. That's probably the most frustrating thing. I felt like my serve came together well today.
You got that take your hat off to him, though. In the big points he served well, especially in the first set. Just those half chances I had to take them.

Q. Are you happy with the balls? A lot of players are complaining about the balls becoming heavier and fluffy.

LLEYTON HEWITT: The ball becomes a bit fluffy. I think after probably three games or is that gets pretty heavy, I think. Yeah, that plays totally different with new balls.

Q. Richard Gasquet said that the balls are bigger than what he's used to and it favors the stronger players. Do you think that it's true?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know if that's the case. Sometimes guys that sit out there and grind sometimes it favors them is a well because they don't miss and the other guys find it harder to hit winners against them. Say all the guys that get a lot of balls back. You can look at that both ways.

Q. What do you think of the overall standard of umpiring?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Pretty ordinary.

Q. What do you think can be done about that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. There's got to be some kind of standards, I think. I think central umpires are probably gone into their shell more so since Hawk-Eye has come in, which, okay, that's fine in major tournaments. But at the smaller tournaments where you don't have Hawk-Eye you have to stand up and make decisions.
So, you know, it's obviously tough for them because one week they've got Hawk-Eye and the next week they don't.

Q. Why do you think the standard isn't what it used to be years ago?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. Who wants to be an umpire? Here. You can have a go.

Q. Australian Open, looking forward that now. What is your prep now? Will you go down early or stay at home?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. Just try and hit some balls in the next few days and basically just keep the rhythm. I felt like I had pretty good rhythm out there today. If I can keep the service rhythm like I did today hopefully I'll be in the mix.

Q. So certainly not pushing the panic button just yet for the tilt?

LLEYTON HEWITT: The major tournament hasn't started yet, so there's no point getting worried. I felt all in all today the ball striking was pretty good.

Q. Do you feel like you've had enough matches to go in well-prepared for the Australian Open?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You never know. If you get through your first couple of the matches you're happy. Now I just got to focus on next Monday or Tuesday and getting off to a good start and hopefully getting that first round under my belt and then building on that.

Q. Do you think there's anything that you can improve from now on?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I don't think you can improve too much in two or three days. You know, I've done all the hard work, and now I've just got trust what I've been doing. As I said, if I can just keep that rhythm going that I felt like I had out there today, hopefully that will do it for me.

Q. Playing best-of-five sets in a Grand Slam a lot different than best-of-three here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely, especially in that kind of match today. I think you get a lot more chances over five sets. Against a guy like Chris or Karlovic or those guys it's a bit of a lottery really. It's a shootout.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


January 13, 2008

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What were your thoughts when you saw the draw for your first-round opponent and also possibly the path ahead?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not too bad. You can't take anyone lightly. Darcis, he had a big year last year, especially on the challenger circuit. He won an ATP event as well on clay.
You know, it's going to be a guy I think I can work my way into the match and get a lot of rhythm. You know, for the draw ahead, there's a long way to go before I have to worry about the big names just yet.

Q. The possibility, though, of perhaps meeting Baghdatis or Safin in the third round, it is a tough side of the draw. Are you confident you can go deep into the second week?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, at the moment I'm just trying, you know, trying to get through my first match and get through the first week.
You know, obviously, those guys have got to take care of each other. They're not in the easiest section for those two to play each other, if they both get through in the second round. Yeah, last year I played González in the third round here. He went all the way to the final, so I probably couldn't have gotten a much tougher third round last year. Probably won't be as tough as that.

Q. What do you know about Steve Darcis?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not a lot. I've seen him hit a few balls. Seen him play a little bit in Adelaide and Sydney. Yeah, he's going to hit a lot of balls back. Yeah, he looks likes he moves pretty well. No huge weapons, though. Probably pretty similar to Olivier Rochus, I guess.

Q. Do you feel at all that time is starting to run out a little bit on your opportunities to win this tournament?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, every year is another year down the drain, I guess. Not really. I'm only 26 at the moment. Yeah, the body's been feeling really good the last couple of months. Yeah, you need a little bit of luck in any Grand Slam to win it, I think. Yeah, for me right at the moment, it's just a matter of trying to survive the first week. If I put myself in a position deep in the second week, I've got as good a chance as anyone.

Q. So you believe you are in the form that you could win possibly?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm hitting the ball pretty well at the moment in practice. Yeah, if I take that into the match court, then I'll be feeling pretty confident.

Q. Do you deal with the expectation of being obviously Australia's No. 1 hope for this tournament better now than you did, say, a couple years ago?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, you know, it's hard. In 2005, you know, it was very hard to deal with it any better than I did there.
I guess right at the start, when I first started, we had Flip and Pat Rafter as well, who were obviously the two main guys. It was a pretty good transition for me taking over, especially from Pat once he retired, 'cause I was No. 1 in the world at the time anyway.
You know, I've never really felt that much expectation or put more expectation or pressure on myself when I go out here to play. I try and use the crowd to my advantage as much as possible, you know, try and take all the positives that I can.

Q. What do you make of Rod Laver, practicing in different temperatures, how is it behaving for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's played pretty similar the whole time I think. It hasn't varied too much. You know, today I hit indoors with the roof closed. The last couple of days, the weather was hot, the first day that I hit here, then a bit cooler the last couple.
It hasn't changed too much. I'm happy with the speed of it. I feel pretty confident that I can go out and compete.

Q. What is your take on the balls? Marcos Baghdatis said last week they were really heavy with a potential to hurt the arm. Have you seen that at all in the last couple weeks?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, they get a little bit fluffy, especially we change at 7 and 9. Probably those last couple of games before you change for new balls. You probably notice a little bit of a difference especially when you go straight into the new balls rather than, you know, playing with the old balls those last couple of games.
The new ball's obviously shooting through a lot quicker.

Q. There's been a bit of talk about sportsmanship, bad sportsmanship in Australia of late. Can I get your thoughts, particularly with the Aussie cricket team, the controversy there, and whether you consider yourself a good sport?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. I don't know enough about - I don't think anyone really does - about the cricket. Yeah, there's obviously a lot of sledging goes on on the field. Who knows what's said and what isn't out there.
You know, if no one else has picked it up, it's only between the players that really know. I'm a bit out of position to really talk.
But I think in general, the Australian cricket team, I know most of the guys reasonably well. It's harder to find a nicer bunch of guys, I think, especially considering how dominant they've been over a long time now. It would be easy to be very arrogant. But, you know, they go out there and prepare and take on every challenge every time, so...

Q. And yourself obviously?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. You know, I feel like I'm a pretty good sport, you know, out there. You know, definitely always give my opponents the respect that they deserve whether I win or lose.

Q. Do you think you were successful in getting your message across with your comments after the loss in Sydney?

LLEYTON HEWITT: What was that?

Q. About the umpires. Have you had any contact from any officials?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It wasn't about getting my message across. I got asked. That's how I saw them on the day. No one's spoken to me about it.

Q. Do you hope it will be better here or do you have confidence it will be better here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, it's a lot different situation with Hawk-Eye here because you can challenge calls. So I just think, yeah, the umpires have obviously changed a little bit over the last couple years when we have Hawk-Eye in the system. They don't go out and look to overrule quite as much as they probably have in the past I think.

Q. Comments in the papers from Wayne Arthurs saying by being more aggressive you may have lost that consistency which made you the best player in the world. Do you think that's a fair comment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, sometimes. I'm still pretty consistent, though, compared to most guys out there, still play the percentages a lot better than most guys out there, I'd say.
So there's probably a handful of guys that are up there in terms of consistency with me. But the game's always changing, as well. And Roger Federer's obviously the guy that's taken the game to a new level. And you've got to look at little ways of, you know, improving your game to be able to match it with the best players. And being slightly a bit more aggressive and maybe not so predictable is maybe one way of doing that.

Q. With his lack of preparation, does that change the way you view him going into this tournament? Is there anything to be read not having any hit-up competitively for months?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think so. He played late November. He won the Masters Cup in pretty good fashion, especially the semi and final there. You know, Roger didn't play any matches on grass before Wimbledon this year after losing the final of French. Yeah, he's that good a player that he can work his way into the tournament over the first couple of rounds and get confident and maybe not play his best tennis in the first couple of rounds, but he'll still be able to get through.
Yeah, I don't think it's going to affect him a whole lot.

Q. You know what it's like to be No. 1 for a long time. Apart from Roger's playing ability, how difficult is it for him just to stay fit the way he has?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, it's not easy, especially to be at your peak fitness when everyone wants to knock you off and is trying to knock you off.
Yeah, we all talk about his shot-making, how well he plays on big points. But for him to be able to, you know, his body to be able to stay healthy and a hundred percent, you know, throughout all those Grand Slams is pretty amazing, as well, especially considering how many matches he plays because he wins so much throughout the year.

Q. Who else would you see as the major threats here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, you throw Nadal in for sure. The bottom half of the draw. Roddick's obviously in there with, you know, sort of the same bunch of guys, I guess. Then Djokovic. Apart from a little hiccup towards the end of last year, you know, he was the stand-out third best player last year. He made big inroads. He's another guy to watch out for.
They're probably the main guys. There's a whole group of guys under it. You look at the last couple of years, Baghdatis, González coming through and making finals, you know, there's a potential for those guys, for a couple of guys to sneak through, as well.

Q. For 2008, you got a new coach, Tony Roche. What is your expectation for the whole year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, right at the moment I haven't really thought about the whole year. I've just been trying to focus on this tournament as much as possible. You know, obviously to try and get back in the top 10 as quickly as possible, cement myself in the top 10. But, you know, with that is giving myself a real shot at all four Grand Slams, not just the Australian Open. I feel like I've been, you know, playing better and better each year at the French Open, so I look forward to the challenge there. And obviously Wimbledon and the US are two places I've played well in the past.
Every year you sort of talk about the Grand Slams. But that's the main priority, all four of them.

Q. How about the Olympics?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the Olympics as well. It's a tough time of the year I think for all tennis players to play the Olympics and fit it in their schedule, and, yeah, sometimes peak at the Olympics because the way we're situated. We play two Masters Series, play the Olympics, then go back for the US Open. That's probably one of the reasons you saw so many upsets in Athens.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


January 15, 2008, 1st Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Steve Darcis 6-0 6-3 6-0


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That would have to be the best start you've had in a Grand Slam.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's up there definitely. Didn't do too much wrong today, especially against -- I didn't really know a lot about my opponent either.
It's never easy coming into a Grand Slam. First match is always tough, especially not knowing much about the other guy. He obviously knew a fair bit about my game.
So, you know, I went out there and was aggressive at the start and tried to dictate and got off to a good start.

Q. Was that the key to your game, aggressiveness?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I felt I mixed it up well, was aggressive when I needed to and stepped it up on his second serve. You know, especially early in the first set was able to put pressure on his second serve. You know, that made him go after his first serve a little bit more.
You know, then I just felt like I could dictate points from there on in, which made it -- made him feel like he had to go for a lot more.

Q. Was there something particular you worked on with Rochey that you saw the fruits of today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Everything is pretty good out there today. You know, obviously against that guy, you know, in the end I felt like I could do pretty much what I wanted to do out there and play on my terms, which is good.
Against the better players they're not going to give you as much opportunity to do that. But, you know, with that said, I felt like I went out there and was aggressive and took what I've been working on in practice on to the match court. Got off to a good start.

Q. Was there anything that Tony wasn't happy with today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not that I've heard yet. Wait till I get on the court tomorrow.
No, I think he's pretty happy so far.

Q. Do you still get the collywobbles just before you go out for an Australian Open?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Collywobbles? Football team gets that, mate (laughter).

Q. Butterflies in the stomach.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you always get nervous and anxious. I get it every week, but always in Grand Slams. You know, I think any athlete gets that.
You know, especially probably first round, as well, you want to get yourself into the tournament a little bit.
So, yeah, you're always a little bit anxious to try and get that first one under your belt.

Q. No more so this time? You had been out of the game for quite some time last year. No greater anxiety to want to do well?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. You know, I was looking forward to getting into the tournament, that's for sure. Feels like it's been a few months waiting just to get this tournament going.
Yeah, it's nice to get your foot in the door now and sort of have something there to build on.

Q. You said you worked on your serve. Was there anything that you tinkered with that worked well today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I felt like the last few days in practice I've been serving really well. I've just been hitting the spots. You know, the ball toss has been in the right spot. You know, just getting the right amount of spin on it.
Yeah, stuff that Rochey and I have been working on the whole time. I felt in Adelaide and Sydney I served in patches, even when I lost to Gooch. I started to get my serve going in that match. I felt a lot more confident with my service games.
Obviously serving against a guy like Gooch, a little bit different than serving against the best returners, as well. But I felt that was sort of a steppingstone. Then I continued it all last week in practice.

Q. There's been some impression about you can mix it with the top players anymore. Does that give you confidence you can, give you that confidence boost?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, I know I can, so it doesn't really worry me too much what other people say. So, you know, it's a matter of going out there and doing it, though.
Yeah, as I said, you know, today's one match down, and they're only going to get tougher from now on.

Q. What do you know about the next one?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Nothing yet. Yeah, I don't know. I just know he won in four sets. Rochey and I will do our homework, though. We'll know a fair bit about the guy before we go on.

Q. You've never seen him play?


Q. Two sets up and 5-Love, 30-Love, you called for the Hawk-Eye on that line call. Tell us about your reasoning for doing that. Given the circumstances of the match, do you take any of that into account?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. I think you have to. You have three up your sleeve before the end of each set these days, then another one in the tiebreak.
Yeah, obviously in that situation I could have done one on the last three points, got them all wrong and it still wouldn't really matter.
Right at the start, when it first came out, you're a little bit -- I was a little bit backwards towards when to really do it and when you needed to.
That ball, I didn't actually see it when it went past me. There were a couple of ball marks on the court so I couldn't tell. I asked the umpire. He said it was close, and that's when I decided to -- might as well throw one out there.

Q. Obviously you're well ahead at that stage. Do you take that into account? Do you really need to challenge this one?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. You challenge it on whether you think there's an opportunity there. Yeah, I think towards the end of sets is where more guys are going to challenge, obviously, especially in closer situations when they've got a couple of extra ones up their sleeve.

Q. How much more settled do you feel than this time last year? You've settled in with Tony. Everything seems to be heading in the right direction. Do you feel that's impacting on your game or that it will very soon?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think so. I think, you know, just having Rochey in my corner, as well, to have a couple of months of hard work, you know, the mutual respect we have for each other, just going out there and practicing and doing all the hard yards.
I know I've done all the hard work with him. We've put in all the hours, you know, that we needed to and prepared as well as possible.
So in terms of that, you know, you just got to worry now about going out there and executing and playing. You know, I don't have too many distractions worrying if I'm fit enough or if I've hit enough balls or worked on the right areas of my game, stuff like that, which is a good thing to know.

Q. How curious are you and some of the other players to see what Roger's going to look like tonight because of the health problems?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. Probably won't watch at all. Unless I get to the semis and he's there. He'll obviously be hitting the ball pretty well if he gets there then.

Q. How much stock do you put into Santoro's record for breaking Agassi's record for Slams in the Open era, and why do you think he's the guy that's done it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He will today?

Q. Yes.

LLEYTON HEWITT: What is that?

Q. 62.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just played the most Slams?

Q. Yes.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Okay. Yeah, well, he's been around for a long time and he's still -- obviously made the semis last week in Sydney. Yeah, he's a very dangerous player. I'm not even sure how old he is, 35, 36 now maybe. Yeah, it's a great record to have, I guess.

Q. Do you feel it's a real accomplishment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. To be able to go out there and put yourself do all the hard work to prepare for Grand Slams isn't easy. For him to be able to keep doing it at that age, and probably more so with him with the game that he's got, because he's not going to blow guys off the court either.
You know, Andre's a little bit different because he can go out there and dictate play and play on his terms a lot more than Fabrice can.

Q. Can you see yourself out there in your mid 30s in Grand Slams?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. That's a long way. This is my 12th Australian Open in a row. That will put me in the 20s.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


January 17, 2008, 2nd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Denis Istomin 7-6(5) 6-3 5-7 6-1


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was that a solid workout?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was. Yeah, I felt like I had a lot of opportunities out there, even right from the start. Even though the first set went to a tiebreaker, I felt like I played pretty well in that first set.
Yeah, he served well on big points. You know, I just wasn't quite reading where he was going, you know, the shots that he liked to play on the big points, you know, when the pressure was on.
But, yeah, he hung in there and played a pretty good match.

Q. How would you describe your form to this stage?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not too bad. Took me a little while, you know, to figure him out today more than anything. First round, I played exceptionally well. You know, today was a bit patchy here and there. But I felt like I played the big points well when I needed to. And then the fourth set, I probably played my best tennis for the match in the fourth set, which was nice.

Q. Is there room for improvement to come?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, see what happens. The matches aren't going to get any easier.

Q. Frustration for you that in Adelaide you played two good matches, one not so good. Here, fantastic first match. Second one not so good. Is that something that is part of the change in the game that you're trying to get into a groove?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit. On and on today I felt like I had a couple lapses in concentration obviously at the end of the third set, not to finish it off there. But he played a lot better when he was down than when he was actually on serve with me. When we were actually pretty close, you know, on serve, I was holding my service games relatively easy every time. Then when I'd go up a break, he actually came out and smacked a couple of winners. If I didn't get my first serve in, he was going for it, you know, right from the go.
So he was an awkward guy to play because, you know, he served well on big points. His second serve wasn't great, but he was making a pretty good percentage of first serves on the big points. And then he actually moved, you know, well across the baseline, as well. So it was actually hard to come in on him because he never got too far behind the court.

Q. Is the concentration, the mind wandering, is that something that happens when you haven't played as much tennis? When you play more, you tend to be sharper?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. It was really maybe only a couple of points. I just, you know, played a couple of loose points there not to finish it off. But, you know, to his credit, he stepped it up, as well. You know, he hit two or three winners off my second serve straightaway and put me under pressure. And that's when he got the break late in the third set there. You know, even when he was up 6-5, he played a good game to break my serve. I didn't do too much wrong.

Q. You had hoped to come in a fair bit more than what you did?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I probably would have liked to come in a little bit more, put a little bit more pressure on him. I felt like I was able to put a lot of pressure on his second serve right from the start. But, you know, I didn't get too many second serves on big points, especially early in the match, which was, you know, the reason that I probably wasn't getting those opportunities to break serve as much.
But, yeah, he moved a lot better than I thought he would for his height.

Q. Treatment at the end of the second set, is that a bit disconcerting? Should the rule be tweaked?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It was a bit strange, because I didn't see any problems with his movement-wise leading up to the end of the second set, and then -- definitely, for him to last another two sets... So I didn't see any major problems. I'm not sure. If he was cramped, he wouldn't have been able to last another couple sets, that's for sure.

Q. Seemed to revive him.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Maybe it was something to just take an extra three minutes at the change of ends. I'm not sure.

Q. Sort of the tournament starts now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, it does. Baghdatis or Safin, it obviously doesn't matter who gets up tonight, it's going to be a tough match. Both guys can play. They've both played really well here in the past.
It's going to be interesting. Yeah, for me, I've got to worry about my game, though, and executing what I want to do, staying aggressive. Obviously it's not the easiest thing being aggressive against Safin, because he's the one that wants to be aggressive out there and dictate play a lot more.
So, yeah, a lot depends on who I come up against, I guess.

Q. Do you think your game matches up better against one or the other of them?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Hard to say. Probably on a day, a little bit different, I guess, depending on day to day. Both guys, you know, great ball-strikers, a couple of the most talented guys in the world.
Yeah, whether they can always provide their best tennis day in, day out, that's probably their biggest question mark, I'd say.

Q. Will you watch any of it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I might have a little bit of a look at some of it. I know, for the most part, how both guys play, though, pretty well.

Q. I guess maybe Safin, maybe Baghdatis. On Saturday night of the Australian Open, is that about as good as it gets for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, or any time at the Australian Open is pretty good. I prefer to be, you know, Sunday week. Doesn't get much better than that.

Q. You anticipate a real sort of atmosphere on the court?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think when you start playing the big names, the crowd's always extremely into it. Yeah, it is a big buzz; that's for sure.

Q. Do you think you have to improve significantly on today to beat either of those guys?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, it's a different kind of match. You know, I know that I can compete against both those guys at my best.

Q. Have you got any thoughts on the court, how it's playing for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's still the same as, you know, before the tournament when I practiced on it for the week or so. I'd say it's a medium-paced hard court.

Q. Is it slightly slower than last year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think it's slower than last year, no.

Q. You said you know you can compete with the other two at your best. How close to your best do you feel you are?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to say. You know, definitely a couple days ago against Darcis, I played extremely well. If I play like that, then I'm going to give anyone trouble, I think.
So, yeah, it's a matter of going out there and executing what I want to do. Yeah, those two guys have a lot more firepower than Darcis. The matchup is going to be different depending on which guy I play, but I'm going to have to play a pretty clean match.

Q. Is your confidence at all diminished by today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, no. I feel confident. Yeah, I'm through to the third round. It's a matter of surviving the first week as much as possible. I'm getting there so far.

Q. Do you think you play at your best when you are aggressive in matches such as today, and that conversely, when you don't attack, that's when you're vulnerable?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a lot depends on the opponent I guess. Yeah, it depends you know, the guy today, I dictated early on. He actually handled pretty well on his service games. On my service games, I was winning quite comfortably.
In the tiebreaker, I played pretty consistent in the tiebreak. Didn't make a lot of easy errors. Yeah, his forehand definitely broke down on the bigger points.
Yeah, you got to be wary of a guy like him. He hasn't played on the big stage too much, either. You've got to ask the question whether he's capable of handling that in a tight situation such as a first-set tiebreak.

Q. Do you have a different approach in the second week of a tournament, different strategy, different tactics?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not really. I sort of take it match by match. Yeah, if you can survive the first week, put yourself in a position in the second week, you never know how many doors open up for you.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


January 19, 2008, 3rd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Marcos Baghdatis 4-6 7-5 7-5 6-7(4) 6-3


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Realistically, what time do you think you'll get to bed?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. Still have massage and a lot of stuff first. It's 5:30, so 7:00, 7:30, maybe.

Q. Did they consult you over whether you wanted to play? You went on at 11:49.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was a strange night. We actually got told that the women's match was going off, was getting moved, that we were going to be on pretty much at 9:00. So we sort of rushed off, both Marcos and myself, and went and practiced and warmed up for about 10 minutes. Came back and got told, No, the women's is going to stay on.
So that -- that sort of was a bit of a hassle for both of us, really, because we didn't have the best preparation and warmup that we would have liked, and then obviously to sit around for a lot longer.
Yeah, you know, we were both probably in two minds obviously with the crowd and everyone that wanted to play, but, yeah, it's a tough situation for everyone.

Q. More beneficial to come back tomorrow and had a day's rest or get it over and done with?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think Marcos and I really knew what was going to be better for whoever won, so that was a tough situation. But, yeah, it was funny, because we both said we could be here 4:00, 5:00 in the morning, and here we are.

Q. Do you think you can buck up?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I hope so. I'll give myself a chance at least, so that's the main thing.

Q. Do you think starting a match at that time of night is decent, is good? You know, when it goes through your head what to make a decision about, what goes through your head?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you know I don't it's a hard one, because our opponents were through obviously, as well. So, yeah, that was the tougher situation, I think, if you're starting fairly the next day and you both had to buck up two days in a row, then that's fair enough.
But obviously, yeah, going on that late is not easy for anyone, any players, because it does throw your whole, you know, rhythm and clock out quite a bit.

Q. How are you feeling at the moment?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I feel pretty good actually. I feel pretty good.

Q. Is that your best win in a Grand Slam since 2005 here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I can't think at the moment, but it's up there. 2006 US Open I had a couple of good wins where I beat, Djokovic and Gasquet before losing to Roddick. But tonight is definitely up there. Marcos has beaten two top players, two Grand Slam winners in his first rounds. He hasn't had an easy draw to get through at all. He's a tough guy to finish off.

Q. What's your routine going to be like now? You'll probably get to bed at 7:00, irregular sleeping hours?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, who knows? Mia will be up ready to play, probably. Yeah, I don't know. I just sleep for as long as I feel I need it tomorrow or today, and then, I mean, I just start preparing and get ready for -- when do I play? Monday? Tomorrow.

Q. You played a few memorable five setters in your career. Where does that one rank?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's up there. I've played a lot out on this court, though. It's hard to, you know, pinpoint one from a lot of others, I guess. Yeah, obviously the Federer one in Davis Cup was probably the biggest of all time for me.
That was up there tonight. He always plays well here in Melbourne. Took Monfils last year to play an exceptional match in the second round to beat him. And to beat Johansson comfortably and Safin in a great match, he's a tough player to beat. I'm happy to get over the line.

Q. You've obviously gotten close with Federer, Djokovic, Nadal over the last four months, but you haven't really had a major scalp. How important is it to get that one tonight confidence-wise going into tomorrow night's match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's important. It's important to beat those big players, and especially over five sets, because that's what I regard myself, when I play my best tennis over five sets in the majors.
It's good, especially here in Australia, as well. So, yeah, it's nice to get another round further than I did last year.

Q. Can you just talk about the emotional roller coaster that you would have been going through in that match, the ups, the downs, the crowd the atmosphere and all that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was a lot of different feelings, I guess, the whole match, four-and-a-half hours or whatever it was.
Yeah, it was, you know, in a lot of ways not only physical balance but a mental battle for both of us, as well. Obviously having a match point and serving for it a couple of times in the fourth set, but being able to bounce back as strong as I did and put that all behind me in the fifth, yeah, mentally this will go down as one of my best wins.

Q. What was going through your mind in the fourth set when you squandered the 5-1 lead?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't feel like I made that many bad choices. Yeah, he started playing a lot more flashy, especially on my service games. I didn't serve as well as I had been. I wasn't getting those cheap points.
But to his credit, he hung in there and he was very loose at that stage, as well. I just tried to put it behind me as much as possible. It's not easy, though, when you're out there and you think you should be in the locker room.
With that said, yeah, this would be mentally one of my best wins, I think.

Q. When you looked over on the other side and saw him lying on the ground in agony, grabbing his ankle, could you imagine three hours later he'd be up there?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I wasn't sure if he broke it or what he did. He obviously yeah, I thought it was a lot worse, I'd say, at that point in time.
But, straight after that we came back out and he seemed fine, you know. So obviously it was a bit of a scare for him.

Q. Djokovic has established himself as the clear No. 3 in the world. How do you go about hurting him, and how does your game match up with his?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It matches up pretty well. Met him one to one and head to head. Last year in Wimbledon when I lost an extremely close match I thought I nearly had the better of him out there, as well. I lost three tiebreakers and the set that I won I won 6-4, I think, or 7-5.
Yeah, I'll get my opportunities. He's obviously a great player, though, and he plays extremely well on this kind of hard court surface. He's gone through the draw pretty comfortably so far. It's going to be another step up.

Q. Was it a nice moment at the end of that match, Lleyton? Can you share with us what you exchanged?

LLEYTON HEWITT: With who, Marcos?

Q. Yes.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think we were both just exhausted, and I was glad I was finished. He probably wasn't. Yeah, I think, you know, I have a lot of respect for him, not only as a tennis player but as a person, as well.
Yeah, we've practiced together before, and, you know, I think he's a really nice guy and pretty down-to-earth.
Yeah, even though we're out there trying to beat the hell out of each other for four and a half hours, I think we both, at the end, you know, realized how much we had both put into the match.

Q. When they told you that the women were going to play, did you have a choice? Did you and Marcos actually have a say? Did you have a choice in whether you were going to play or not?

LLEYTON HEWITT: We didn't really have a choice, no.

Q. What do you think of that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: We got we had an opinion, but we didn't get a choice.

Q. What do you think of the fact that you didn't have a choice in such a situation?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, it's hard to say. Obviously the tournament has -- you know, they've got to look after not only the players' interests but the spectators and everyone, I guess. There's a lot more demands than just the two of us. We were obviously put out a little bit thinking we were going to go on. I was basically ready to go on at 9:00 straight after the Federer match, so was Marcos, and then we were told we're not going on.
Yeah, it was more a mental battle for both of us, but it was out of our hands. We didn't -- as I said, we didn't have a choice for the matter. We had to put it behind us as quickly as possible.

Q. How long before the start were you told that you weren't going on? How long before 9:00 were you told that you weren't going on?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, we got told at 8:15 that we were going on at 9:00. And then I'm not sure, it would have been just after 9:00 because Federer, I think, was still going. Federer was still going to just after 9:00, I think, and that's pretty much -- we were both ready to go on, so...

Q. Pretty difficult to deal with?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It wasn't the easiest night, yeah.

Q. Marcos was talking to the French reporters. He said his understanding was if the women had gone three sets you wouldn't have played at all. Was that your understanding, as well?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think in the end it was going to be that, but they made a decision at a set and a break. If Mirza had won the first set, then, yeah, obviously it was a high chance it was going to go three sets. But Venus being up a set and a break, I think both Marcos and myself realized we were going to play.

Q. Have you had any situation like this? I mean, not just the lateness.

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, tonight was strange. It was strange for both of us. Marcos and I were speaking to each other in the locker room beforehand not really knowing what was going on. Also what was in our best interests, as well, for whoever got through to the next round.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


January 21, 2008, 4th Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Novak Djokovic 5-7 3-6 3-6


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Novak said at the end he felt really, really nervous going into the match and it showed in that first set. Do you think that was the crux of the match? Had you got that one under your belt, might have been a very different story?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. Yeah, I had -- you know, I was playing pretty well at the start. At 2-1, I saved four or five breakpoints and got out of that game from Love-40.
Was up 4-2 and had a breakpoint in that game. Yeah, he came up with some good shots and big serves to get out of that game.
But, you know, if I got 5-2, I felt like I could have closed out that first set. Yeah, I would have been, you know, obviously starting the match pretty well.
But, you know, even in the second set I got up an early break and had game point. I didn't play a bad point on that game point to consolidate for 3-1 in the second. He came up with a big pass up the line.
Yeah, obviously I would have had a lot better chance if I'd, you know, consolidated and won that first set.

Q. Did you feel your last match in your legs?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. I didn't feel too bad. But probably not quite as sharp as I would have liked to be.

Q. Physically tired, but was concentration also affected by the lack of sleep from the other night?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I don't think so. You know, I felt ready when I had to go on the court. You know, I started pretty well. As the match went on, you know, maybe I lost that sharpness a little bit. But, you know, I was ready to go 7:30 tonight when we went out to play.

Q. Do you sense he's grown in stature, not only competitively but almost he seems to be getting taller and bigger, even since Wimbledon?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, he's you know, he had a great US Open and, you know, pretty good Wimbledon. Had to forfeit because he played a lot of long matches there. But he's shown, you know, in big matches and over best-of-five sets in the big tournaments that he is the worthy world No. 3 at the moment. And he has been a standout over the last 12 months, pretty much since Indian Wells last year.
So, yeah, he's a lot better player than he was 12 months ago, I think, when he lost to Roger here last year. And, yeah, he's got a great all-court game.

Q. All things considered, how do you assess your game at the moment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not too bad. You know, obviously, you know, it was nice to have that win against Baghdatis, against a top-quality opponent. Yeah, it's obviously disappointing to lose tonight.
But I felt like there were patches there where I was playing some pretty good tennis, as well. So, you know, you've got to try to take the positives out of it as much as possible.

Q. What sort of measure has the tournament given you for the year, in terms of your hunger and the way you're playing as well?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't really know at the moment (smiling). To tell you the truth, I haven't really thought about the rest of the year too much. Been pretty much focusing on the Australian summer and now I'll reevaluate, I guess.

Q. Playing in the tournament, do you feel the hunger?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely, mate. Wouldn't have been out there for 4:34, whatever it was, a couple nights ago if I didn't want to be here.

Q. How much did that 4:34 throw your body clock out of whack?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. Obviously I could have probably slept all day yesterday. Yeah, if I had my choice probably. Obviously, in the middle of the tournament, had to get up at some stage and do rehab and, you know, prepare as well as possible.
So, yeah, wasn't the ideal finishing time.

Q. Is your dream of winning the Australian Open beginning to fade?

LLEYTON HEWITT: This year it has.

Q. What about future years? Do you think you can win it in the future?


Q. I know it's a difficult subject, but the lateness of the hour in your previous match, do you think, all things being taken into consideration - it's always easier with hindsight - but do you think Grand Slam tennis should start, matches should start that late in the day, taking all the elements out of it? A big match in a big tournament like this...

LLEYTON HEWITT: At the French and Wimbledon obviously you don't have to worry, so it's only here and New York, two out of the four, that it's even possible.
Yeah, it's not ideal. But then again, you know, backing up the next day's not ideal either. So, you know, what's better? I don't know.
Yeah, obviously Ferrero and Ferrer had to back up and play two days in a row. We've done that at Wimbledon. It's not the easiest thing to do.
So, yeah, obviously it throws your body clock out a little bit more, you know, finishing so late. But, you know, what's better? I'm not sure.

Q. Do you blame the late night for the loss? Simple as that.

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, absolutely not. He was too good tonight.

Q. Jim Courier I think said on commentary how you and Tony Roche were a work in progress. How much more improvement do you think you've got in your game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, still a fair bit I think. You know, you can do a lot on the practice court. But, you know, to make that transition from the practice court to the match court, it's never going to happen overnight, especially against these kind of players: Baghdatis, Djokovic, Federer, these top-quality opponents.
So, yeah, there were patches out there tonight that I was pretty happy with. There was other stuff I think I could have done a lot better as well. So, you know, you go back to the drawing board, take the positives out of it, and there's still things to work on, which is a good thing, as well.

Q. When can we expect you to be peaking, so to speak?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know.

Q. You said after you started with Tony Roche you would be peaking in about six months. Do you still think you can get there?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, see what happens. Obviously, there's a small hard court season, and the next slam is obviously on clay. It's a little bit different situation going into, you know, a Grand Slam that, yeah, I've probably got better on over the years really.
Yeah, that will obviously be the next major goal.

Q. Davis Cup, you definitely going?


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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


March 18, 2008, 3rd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Mikhail Youzhny 7-5 6-1


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Seemed pretty routine to you, especially in that second set. Was it that way, or how would you assess the match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: In the end it was. In the first set I was obviously down a break. Yeah, I lot of chances to break early on and couldn't quite take him. And then, you know, hung in there and got back into that first set and was able to break and put a lot of pressure on him and frustrate him into going for a few shots that he didn't really want to go for.
Then the second set I played a really good game to break first game in the second set and was able to put pressure on him from then.

Q. Must be pretty happy the way things are going. Last year was kind of a hiccup for you, at least at this tournament. Looks like things are coming together for you.

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's always nice when your body is feeling strong and fit out there. This time last year I had a couple of niggling injuries that hurt my chances here, and then I had to pull out of Miami. It's always good when you're feeling fit and strong and able to go out there and feel like you can compete against the best guys.

Q. Can you just talk about your success here? That must breed a lot of confidence every time you come back here to Indian Wells.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's a great tournament to come back to. I really enjoy playing here. Don't know what it is, but I've always had great success in the desert, whether it's Scottsdale, Vegas, or here.
This one is one of my favorite tournaments to come back to. It's nice to win my first couple of matches here this year.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the next round. Right now Mardy Fish is up a break in the second. He won the first. Can you talk about possibly playing him and then Davydenko?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, and pretty different players, I guess, Fish is probably a bit more an all-court player and probably got a little more dangerous first serve, but will probably make a few more errors.
Davydenko is obviously extremely solid and a great mover out there and great counter puncher. It's not going to be easy whichever guy I come up against, but I look forward to the challenge and hopefully getting through to a quarter.

Q. I was just typing you in on YouTube and watching you perform Eye of the Tiger.

LLEYTON HEWITT: What's that?

Q. I was watching you perform Eye of the Tiger on YouTube. Have you seen that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I haven't. I don't think I want to.

Q. So was that something you just did spur of the moment and now you regret it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think that was something that a lot of the players got forced into.

Q. Forced into?

LLEYTON HEWITT: At the French Open.

THE MODERATOR: You can say coaxed.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I didn't even know it was happening and I got put in a room and I didn't know what was happening.

Q. So you haven't seen the video then or anything?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. As I said, I don't think I want to.

Q. Karaoke is not your thing, then?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. After a few drinks with my mates, maybe. Not with a camera.

Q. You're saying that you're feeling pretty healthy and fit and all that. Bearing into mind that you've had your fair share of injury issues, when was the last time you felt as good as you wanted to feel as far as not being injured or anything like that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the Aussie Open I felt pretty good this year. But before that, probably starting in Rome/Hamburg last year, was probably -- and I think it showed in my performances. You know, in Hamburg I played some of the best tennis I've played in my career there last year.
And then French Open I played well and ended up losing to Nadal both weeks. And then at Wimbledon played pretty well as well. Beat Cãnas and lost to Djokovic in a tight match.
So that period I was feeling pretty good about my body. When you're able to go out there and feel like you can compete and feel close to 100 percent out there makes it a lot easier.

Q. I don't know if you talked about this already. I'm sorry if you already have. Can you talk about the Australian Open? It was very unusual for you to play a match well into sunrise, and...

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was strange, but yeah, Marcos and I only have ourselves to blame for it going so long, I guess. Yeah, it wasn't going to be ideal for either of us whoever got through in the end.
Obviously Novak was well rested and tucked up in bed, and whoever got through that match was going to be a extremely tough ask to come back and play basically the following day when your whole time clock is out of whack.
So, yeah, I went out there and tried to prepare for that match as well as possible, but, yeah, he was obviously too good.

Q. Just seems like one of those matches that people are going to talk for a long, long time. Do you see it that way, or do you see it more it kind of cost you an opportunity?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, Novak was still too good when he beat me. Yeah, it didn't help my chances. But, yeah, I would doubt probably if right at the moment another match would finish that late after, you know, the amount of talk and publicity that it caused.

Q. Have you seen the Roddick/Haas match?


Q. Do you think that Haas is still a contender for the top 10 again?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Well, he's had obviously coming back from another shoulder injury, so he's an extremely talented player. He's been as high as 2 in the world, so he's a great player.
But, yeah, this is sort of a road back for him again. Yeah, he obviously struggled his first couple weeks coming back. It's a great win beating Andy in straight sets here.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


March 19, 2008, 4th Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Mardy Fish 5-7 6-3 6-7(4)


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Lleyton, what made the difference out there? It was so close.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was close the whole way. Yeah, I felt like, you know, I probably won a few more points than him, I think, in the match, as well. And my percentage of first serve was pretty good for me, as well.
I felt pretty comfortable with my service games out there. He served well. I had probably a few more slight chances in the third set at 30-Alls where I really wasn't under a lot of pressure on my serve in the third set. So he played a very clean and, you know, a great serving tiebreak to finish it off.

Q. You mentioned the chances. What happened on some of those missed opportunities you had out there? Did you feel he just lifted it at the right time?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He served big on the big points. Yeah, especially 30-Alls in the third set. He lost his way with his serve little bit through the second set. But the first set he was serving well.
And, yeah, even his second serve he goes for it and got a lot of kick on his second serve. But, yeah, doesn't give you too many cheap points to double fault to either. It was one of those matches. I felt like in a lot of ways I was the better player out there, but, you know, you don't quite win.

Q. He's got zip on his serve. Do you think the conditions with thinner air and all that added to that this evening?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, little bit. You know, he served well. He's obviously been serving well, pretty well, the whole tournament.
Yeah, he was playing the edge tonight, though. Every point where he had an opportunity to go after it he was taking a full cut at every shot.
Yeah, the positive to take out of it is obviously, yeah, if a guy's got to play like that to beat me, then so be it.

Q. You're obviously disappointed with the result, no doubt about that. But do you still feel that you're playing with confidence in yourself, you're feeling confident in what you're doing on the court?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I played pretty well tonight. I got to lose my serve at 5-All I got a foot fault on the second serve on break point, so that was pretty much the first set gone there. Then the second set I played great set, and the third set I didn't really do anything wrong there either.
So I played pretty clean tennis out there tonight. Over five sets in a Grand Slam, then it could have been a different story. Three sets and when you get to a tiebreak like that, it's anyone's game.

Q. Been a long time since you played him. The last time was on grass. Makes a difference in his game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. He's a flashy kind of player, I think, on any surface. He's dangerous because, yeah, he's obviously got a good serve and good all-court game as well, and capable of hitting winners.

Q. Will you hang around here or go straight to Miami?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know yet.

Q. Crowd was pulling for him. How much does that affect you? Do you get bothered by you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I've played enough big matches. Obviously pretty fair crowd, I think.

Q. What do you think of the officiating? I thought there were some questionable calls out there today.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, there were a few. Yeah, that's the difference, I guess. You play I've played both my first matches on center court where you got Hawk-Eye, and then you get the back.
Yeah, it's probably not the fairest thing to have Hawk-Eye on one court and not the rest. Yeah, it's not a lot you can do about it.

Q. Didn't look like a lot of Hawk-Eyes out there working the game from what I saw.

LLEYTON HEWITT: What's that?

Q. Didn't seem like a bunch of Hawk-Eyes out there working the game from what I saw. It was disappointing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: What do you mean?

Q. There were a lot of bad calls, I thought, missed calls.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, there were some close calls I think for both of us. But, yeah.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


March 29, 2008, 2nd Round

Lleyton Hewitt - Jose Acasuso 3-6 6-7(4)


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It was pretty clear pro Argentine environment. Is it tough playing in that sort of environment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, no, not too bad. It was, yeah, didn't really bother me. I've played in a lot worse, I think.

Q. What do you think went wrong today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, I just couldn't quite move properly. You know, I've been battling a little bit of an injury since I lost to Fish last week.
So, yeah, I went out there and I tried, and just couldn't quite compete the way that I wanted to.

Q. Are the crowds different in Miami? Certainly you have a lot of Argentines. You have a lot of nationalities represented. Is it different down here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. I guess a little bit different. If you play Indian Wells or Vegas, obviously, if you play the Americans, there's a lot more American pulling, I guess.
There's a lot more South American, probably, down here.

Q. Lleyton, what is the injury?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just got a bit of a hip strain at the moment, I think. So suffered against Fish last week, and, yeah, I mean, I've been battling it ever since. I tried to do everything to get in shape to be ready today, but it wasn't quite there.

Q. Do you know exactly what it is?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not exactly, no.

Q. And is it a case of just having to rest it or what?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you know. With a few days off after I lost to Fish in Indian Wells it started to respond a little bit better. I thought it was going to be right, and then as soon as I practiced here for the first time I went backwards again.
So, yeah, it was more I was just trying to maintenance, basically, and get as much treatment as possible in the last couple of days. I didn't hit yesterday to try to be right for today, but that's how it goes.

Q. Bearing that in mind, were you still a bit satisfied with the way you were actually managing to move and hit the ball today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I didn't feel my footwork was great today, and that's what lost me the match, I think.
Yeah, I just wasn't quite able to twist my body the way that I would have liked to. You know, I wasn't able to run down as many balls as I would have wanted to, especially against a guy like that.
I felt like I knew how to play him. I beat him pretty convincingly in Adelaide earlier this year. So, you know, I was more trying to go out there and, you know, hang in there.
I nearly turned things around in the end by just hanging in there. I had two set points in the second set, and he did a lob on the line on the first one, and then an ace on the second. So if I could have won that second set, you never know what might have happened.

Q. Yeah, I was going to ask you, with those set points if you had won that second set and with the injury, any idea on how you would have stood up to that third set?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was gradually getting a little bit worse. I'm not sure how it would have gone, but I was starting to hang in a few more points. Obviously the tight situations were putting a little more pressure on him as well.

Q. What do you think you'll do now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


June 9, 2008, 1st Round


L. HEWITT/J. Goodall
6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.

Q. Pretty comfortable match for you.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's always a little bit tough first match on grass. The court on the first day hasn't had any play on it either. A little bit greener out there. Yeah, you just got to be careful with your footing a little bit. That's probably the biggest thing.
But, yeah, he had a big serve. He was playing on the edge, though, the whole time I felt, going for a lot of big second serves. Today a lot of them went in. Other days a lot of them could have missed.

Q. Good to get the early break.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was good in the first set. I've been returning really well in practice. I returned well in Paris on the clay, as well. Yeah, I've been seeing the ball well.
Yeah, it's still different when you get in your first match on a different surface. But, yeah, that was a good knock because I felt like I served smartly throughout the match, hit my spots well when I needed to. On my returns, I felt like I was putting a lot more pressure on him than he was on my service games.

Q. Grass courts here are regarded by some as the best in the world. What do you think about that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, in the past I've always thought they're as good a grass as I've ever played on. Amazing how good a nick they're always in every year we come back here. I've always had a lot of success here, which has been nice, as well.

Q. Having been out for a while, I know you obviously prefer to be fully fit, but is there a bonus, do you come to this season feeling particularly fresh?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not sure. I guess probably by Wimbledon, you know, some of the other guys could have played a lot of matches on the clay and, yeah, be a little bit tired I guess after a long clay court stretch, then going into another Grand Slam two weeks after the French.
But I'm really looking forward to it. Wimbledon's one of my favorite tournaments of the year, if not my favorite. So, yeah, I love this month of the year. You know, I think I always go in with a good attitude, as well, which helps.

Q. How do you feel physically at the moment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Pretty good. Yeah, not a hundred percent. Still, yeah, battling the hip injury a little bit. But, you know, just trying to get through it and hopefully not aggravate it any more.

Q. Because you said you struggled a little bit after a long match in Paris, didn't you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I struggled. Yeah, that night I was struggling to walk a little bit (smiling).
Yeah, that comes with playing five sets, as well. But, yeah, throughout the match, I couldn't really expect a whole heap going into Paris anyway, not playing on clay for 12 months. To go out and play two good matches in the first two rounds, could have easily beaten Ferrer. Who knows how it would have gone after that. But probably came within a point of beating him.

Q. Coming into Wimbledon a bit under the radar, does that help?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Doesn't matter. You guys can talk about whoever you want to talk about.

Q. The attention will be on the top three or four.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, those three guys have been the standout obviously since Djokovic, last year, he had a good year on all surfaces. But, you know, obviously after winning his first major in Melbourne, as well. Yeah, there's no doubt those three guys, they deserve to be the three favorites.

Q. You were saying you're not a hundred percent. What percentage are you at?


Q. Looking at the top three you mentioned, how much of an effect do you think what happened in Paris yesterday will have on Roger at Wimbledon?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not sure. He lost the last three years two times in the finals, once in the semis to Rafa at Roland Garros. He's been able to bounce back pretty well on the grass.
Yeah, there's no doubt he'll be disappointed. Rightly so. That's the one tournament missing off his, you know, career list, I guess, especially of big tournaments. I think he's mentally tough enough to know. He still thinks he's the best grass court player out there. Yeah, so he deserves to be the favorite going into Wimbledon.

Q. You've always done pretty well here. How do you enjoy the atmosphere here compared to Wimbledon?

LLEYTON HEWITT: The atmosphere, you know, is pretty similar. It's a good crowd to play in front of. Yeah, even playing an Englishman today, I felt like I had a lot of support out there, which is nice. No, I always feel at home, both here and at Wimbledon. You know, I think the crowds are great, the atmosphere is great. Last year at Wimbledon, played on some of the bigger courts, but played one match, because of rain, on Court 17, out the back. It was a great atmosphere out there, as well.
Yeah, crowds in London are fantastic.

Q. You took on Tony last year. Tony said he wanted to work on your serve, add variety. With injuries this year and last year, how much quality time have you had with him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. We had a good time, a good block before the Australian summer, which was good at the end of last year, through the end of November and December, which was good. Went into the Australian summer, played pretty well there. Ended up losing to Djokovic, which wasn't a bad loss at the time.
Yeah, since then obviously a couple injuries, it's been hard to get on the practice court and really do a lot of work. Especially sort of coming into the French Open, I hardly hit a ball at home before I left for Paris. It's hard to work on any consistency or any kind of routine at all.
Yeah, we're both on the same page, which is good.

Q. If it wasn't Wimbledon now, grass court season, would you be playing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably not, no. I would have liked to have got the injury right a hundred percent before I came back. But, you know, I don't like missing majors. That's why I'm still playing tennis, for the big tournaments. The small tournaments don't mean that much to me. You know, to go out there and play in the French Open, fantastic atmosphere again, that's what I play for.

Q. Do you have a view on the Wimbledon wildcards? Wimbledon are due to announce today wildcards. The LTA has said they don't want wildcards to be given to players ranked below 250 in the world. Your opponent today, for example, wouldn't get one. I wonder if you have a view on that as a policy.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. That's the first I've heard about it. I can't say I've been too worried about who gets one.
Yeah, I think you should still give most of them to your own, though. Yeah, it's an opportunity. They can win one round and it can really kickstart a career. Yeah, a lot you probably have to look at the ages of players, as well, I'd say, maybe how many they've had in the past. But overall, I feel like in Australia we should give most of 'em, if not all of 'em, to Australians. Gives them an opportunity.
I don't know about you guys in juniors, but we've got a couple of guys, one junior, won Grand Slams the last couple years. I think to give them a shot at senior tennis, yeah. Playing on grass, there's not too many guys that enjoy it. A lot of the English younger players, even guys ranked 200 or 300 can cause an upset against guys ranked 100, 110 in the world, so... .

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


June 11, 2008, 2nd Round

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/X. Malisse
6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.

Q. How do you think you shaped up today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was a pretty good match overall. I didn't lose my serve against, you know, a good returner out there who works the ball around extremely well. He's a great shot-maker. He mixes it up with slice and also goes for his shots, both cross-court and down the line.
It was good to get up an early break, though, in both sets, which was important.

Q. When you actually come here, do you feel you're at home? You won it so many times. Lovely place, straight into the groove?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit. It's always hard, though, you know, when you haven't played on grass for 12 months, to come out straight. There's no bigger difference than going from a clay court to a grass court. You know, not just the moving aspect, but tactics. It puts a lot more pressure on your serve and return game than clay court. Serve and return is sort of just starting the point. There's a lot of different tactics out there, as well. So it's always going to take a little bit of time.
But, you know, I'm fortunate that I felt like as soon as I get here on the grass, I'm always hitting the ball pretty well. And my movement's always, you know, pretty good as well, which is lucky.

Q. You adjust so quickly; you've done it for years. Why is that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm not really sure. For me there's no real answer. You know, I don't know. I always really look forward to this time. Whether that has something to do with it, I don't know. I think a lot of top guys these days have a pretty positive outlook on the grass. Maybe years before, some of those good clay court players didn't always look forward to playing here on the grass I think for this month. Yeah, maybe that had something to do with it.
I've always had a good outlook, positive outlook, to come here and succeed and do well.

Q. What makes you a good grass court player?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. I think if I'm serving well I can be tough to beat because, you know, my return of serve is one of my biggest strengths. So if I can put enough pressure on my opponents, they're going to have to serve extremely well to keep holding their serves all day.
Grass is a tough game to play, though, because you get those half chances and you really have to take them on this surface. If you're playing a big server that's serving extremely well, sometimes those chances are tough to take.
Yeah, over the years I've been able to put a lot of pressure on my opponents with my return of serve. If I serve well, it makes life a lot easier.

Q. Have you had to change your game plan since you won Wimbledon or is it a question of executing the same game plan successfully?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the game plan, me for grass, really hasn't changed a whole heap. I continue to try and improve, come to the net, play a bit more of an all-court game, just add another dimension to my game - on every surface, not just grass. Hopefully that can take me to the next level and keep improving.
So, yeah, that's obviously one area that Rochey and I have been working on. But it's not just for grass; it's sort of through clay and hard court as well.

Q. Has grass court tennis slowed since you came on tour?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to say. The game's probably changed. There was a lot more serve-volleying, chip-chargers out there when I first started. Nine times out of ten now, you're going to have guys serve and stay back. Still got a lot of big serves out there. Even if they are serving and staying back, they're looking for that first ball to really punish - a mid-court forehand normally.
The actual pace of the game probably hasn't changed that much. It's more, you know, the style of play. There's so many good returners out there these days, it's hard to serve every point.

Q. Can you speculate as to why that change has happened?

LLEYTON HEWITT: As I said, I think there's so many good returners. There's a lot better returners than there has been throughout the years. Someone like Tim Henman, as good a serve-volleyer as he was, even the last couple years of his career, found it hard to serve-volley all the time consistently, even on a grass court.

Q. In that week or two weeks that you started to hit again before the French, did you start to hit on hard or did you go to the red clay courts at Homebush and start on that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I only hit like once, I think. It was on a clay court in Sydney, not at Homebush. That was once, but it was more sort of stroking the ball. At that stage I probably wasn't really a hundred percent sure whether I was going to be able to play the French or not.

Q. Still only had a couple of matches on the grass. Are you feeling with each one you're more comfortable or is it still new surface, got to settle?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You get more and more comfortable with each match, for sure. I felt like as soon as I got here, and even with all the changes, I was still hitting the ball well, yeah, in practice sets and that. But you've got to go out there and do it in match situations, which is so much different than practice.
For me, that's been a huge bonus, to get these couple of matches under my belt, and another one tomorrow.

Q. Playing the doubles obviously helps with that. Is that something you might aim to put together that combination, you and Gooch, for the Olympics?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not sure yet. I really haven't even thought about doubles at the Olympics. Yeah, I don't actually know if Gooch is in directly or not. I think he's about borderline at the moment. Tennis Australia will have to work out what they think the best options are, who's going to get in. I don't think Gooch and I would probably get in on our own rankings, I don't think, into doubles at the Olympics.
Yeah, right at the moment it's probably still Paul and I would be the best option.

Q. The doubles, in addition to getting more matches on, match practice, is it also a point to give Fitzgerald another option for Davis Cup?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. For me, this one here at Queen's is probably more so to get a couple more matches, more serve and return, serve-volley a little bit, play different shots. Yeah, you don't get to play that many matches in a match situation on grass. For me it's trying to sharpen up areas of my game leading into Wimbledon.
For me, I still feel like I can teach Gooch a lot, as well, on the court. So for me I enjoy playing with him and I think he responds to playing with me a lot better than maybe a lot of other players. So, yeah, that's a positive.
Yeah, maybe down the track, if we do play more matches, we will be another option. But right at the moment, I think Fitzy's got enough faith in me and Handles for Davis Cup.

Q. Is that important for you, because playing for your country is so important? Is it good to give something back in the sense you can help foster Gooch's career a bit?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Gooch is obviously the standout player we've got coming up. He's the most likely opportunity to get into the top 50, top 20 in the world. Davis Cup-wise, when I'm gone, Handles is gone, he's going to be playing a lot of the matches as well.
Anything that I can pass on to him is an extra bonus, I hope for him and not only his career, but for him and Davis Cup.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


June 12, 2008, 3rd Round

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/P. Mathieu
6-4, 6-4


Q. Pleased with that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It was good. He always comes out firing every time I've played him in the past. When I've seen him play at his best, he's a great ball-striker off both sides. You know, when he's serving well, it's tough because he puts a lot of pressure always on your service games. He's a very good return-of-serve player and moves well.
It was kind of like weathering the storm out there a little bit. But I knew I was going to get my opportunities. That's why he's not top five, top ten in the world. Nine times out of ten, he can't keep that standard up for a whole match.

Q. Three matches in, how do you feel you're progressing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not too bad. I got through all in straight sets so far. Malisse and Mathieu are both dangerous opponents. They're both extremely flashy and good ball strikers. Yeah, to beat those guys. Today I felt like from 4-1 down, I was able to turn it around. You know, I served extremely well. I put pressure on nearly every one of his service games from then on in. It was a pretty good result.

Q. How big a part does confidence play in your sport? Lots of other sports, they talk about when you're confident, the better they do.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think confidence has a lot to do with winning. You watch a guy like Federer, Nadal, these guys, even Djokovic now, when you are confident, win a lot of big matches, you get in those situations, you're sort of on autopilot out there. Especially Federer backs himself every time when he gets in a tight situation. That just comes from self-belief and confidence. He's been able to do it against the best guys for a number of years now. It's second nature to him.

Q. Obviously you had your time as world No. 1. Towards the end of that there must be a period where somebody chips an odd result against you here or there. That's happened to Federer this year. Will that make an impact on him, do you think?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Hard to say. Obviously a guy like Djokovic is young. Nadal is young, but he's been around for a lot of years now. Djokovic coming up, he's played pretty good tennis against Roger when they've played on all surfaces.
You know, you watch these young guys, even Andy Murray has played well against him, a young guy. But, yeah, Roger still does it in the big tournaments when it really counts. That's why he's still No. 1.

Q. I hate to throw it back when you're trying to build your confidence up at the moment. Can you talk about what it feels like when that bit of invincibility you built up is suddenly being chipped away?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to say. The game always keeps improving. For me, even when I was No. 1, I felt like there were still areas of my game I could work on and improve. Something I've been trying to do over the last couple years, but had hiccups with a couple of niggling injuries that I haven't been able to put those match, get it back to back really. Roger took the game to a new level. I was No. 1. Roddick was No. 1 for a couple of months. Roger has really taken the game to a new level since then. Rafa is extremely unlucky not to have gotten to No. 1.

Q. On the basis that nothing is forever, Rafa is the next in line to make the big challenge?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Personally I'd hope so because he's a great guy. What he's done, how he plays on all surfaces, he deserves to be world No. 1. There's no doubt that his name should be up there with the greats of the game.

Q. Roddick today said you would still be a big threat at Wimbledon. Do you feel that yourself?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I feel like I'm definitely capable of playing against those big guys. I know what it takes to win seven matches there, as well. I feel over five sets that's where the best of me comes, in the Grand Slams. That's what I play for. My best tennis always comes out in those situations over five sets.
Yeah, I'll go in there quietly confident, but hopefully I can get a few more matches here.

Q. Does defeat hurt you as much now as when you were almost invincible?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think so. It's probably more so a couple of my losses this year have been sort of through playing injured, not being a hundred percent out there. That's probably more disheartening in a lot of ways because I felt like I've been hitting the ball extremely well, but haven't been a hundred percent out there to be able to compete. For me competing is one of my biggest assets.
Yeah, that's the tough thing.

Q. When you used to go out there as world No. 1, can I assume you thought you would win the match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I go out in every match and think I can win the match (smiling).

Q. You still maintain that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. I think I've done it enough times against the best players in the world. Last year I was one point away from beating Nadal on clay and one point away from beating Djokovic at Wimbledon and a couple points away of beating Federer at Cincinnati on hard courts. When I put it all together, I'm not too far away. Got to get my body right first. That would make life a lot easier.

Q. The Andy seems to get the odd injury cropping up now and then.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he was unlucky. That wrist injury, what he did last year, it was very unlucky. It was like Becker at Wimbledon a few years back. He just hit the wrong shot at the wrong time and did his wrist. That's a pretty unlucky injury for him.

Q. With today's match, 1-4 down, what do you think actually clicked in? What turned it around?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I started serving a little bit better, for sure. Even in the first game of the match, I had breakpoint, then I had 30-All and deuce in his second service game of the match. I knew I was going to get opportunities on his service games. It was a matter of just hanging in there and trying to get my serve on track, get that first break back, then try and build from there.

Q. 2002, winning here, going to Wimbledon and winning there, seem like yesterday or a long time ago?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A bit of both. Some days it's different. When I come back here, it doesn't feel like that long ago, no. But probably when you're away, you're grinding out on the tour, it feels like a while away.

Q. When you pull up in the car at Wimbledon, what do you feel when you get out? Another year has gone by or it's still very special?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Both of those. Amazing how quickly the years go by nowadays. For me, it's one of my favorite tournaments, as I said, if not my favorite, Wimbledon. I love it. It's built more and more over the years. Since I obviously started doing well there and won matches, you really feel the tradition walking in there. To me it's one of the greatest places to play tennis.
Yeah, it's one of the reasons you keep playing the game, too.

Q. Is the locker room attendant the same bloke from years ago?

LLEYTON HEWITT: There's a new one that's taken over in the members locker room. There's a couple Aussies in there, as well, which is nice.

Q. A place you go to and think, I'm home?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, pretty much. I feel pretty comfortable when I get there.

Q. You look at the next round. Obviously you don't know who you have. Do you look at the two players individually? You'd have another crack at Djokovic on grass.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's probably improved from last year at Wimbledon. He's a great all-court player nowadays. He comes in well, has a big first serve. I lost to him at the Aussie Open as well. I know how he plays. It's a matter of me going out and executing against him. Tipsarevic is very hot and cold. He's flashy. I think he beat Murray here a couple years ago on grass. Grass definitely isn't his worst surface. He moves extremely well and can generate a lot of pace from both sides.

Q. Think back to the Davis Cup match against him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit. That was the last time I played him. That was on one of the slowest clay courts I ever played on. It will be a totally different matchup to that.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


June 13, 2008, QF

Lleyton Hewitt


6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.

Q. You weren't quite able to launch a comeback like you did yesterday. What do you put that down to today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he served a lot better than I did, you know, throughout the whole match, especially on big points. I felt like I was able to get into quite a few of his service games, got to deuce a couple of times even in the first set, and then obviously had three breakpoints in a long game there to break back in the second.
He served well on the big points. I gave him too many looks at second serves. I got off to a slow start, as well, and didn't take it to him probably as much as I could have I think early in the first set.
Yeah, he's as good a ball-striker as there is around right at the moment. And when you let him dictate, he's a very good player.

Q. Did you notice differences in his game on grass this time to Wimbledon last year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not a whole heap. He didn't make a lot of unforced errors out there today, though. Last year he served well, as well, on the big points. He's been doing that since he got to the top 10, top 5 in the world. He does that fairly consistently, hits a lot of lines out there, especially on his first serve.
He didn't give a lot of cheap points away out there today. But, you know, I didn't quite put him under enough pressure to be able to -- to put him under that pressure to have him give me a couple of easy points, as well.

Q. Does a loss like that make you feel like you've still got quite a way to go for Wimbledon or are you encouraged by how you've played this week?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It was a strange match because I actually felt like I started hitting the ball pretty well towards the end of the match there. Yeah, he's obviously extremely confident right at the moment. Every time he steps on the court, no matter what surface it's on, he's always going to be a tough player to come up against.
The big difference today was the serving. He served a lot better than I did. If I could have put him under a little bit more pressure and stayed with him early in both sets, then that could have made life a little bit more difficult for him.

Q. Everyone is talking about the aftermath of that final in Paris last week, if the two of them meet up again in the Wimbledon final. Obviously Novak is a contender now, isn't he?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, last year he obviously beat me in a tough match, then beat Baghdatis in a tough match, took the first set off Nadal before he forfeited in the semi of Wimbledon. Up till then he hadn't really had great success on grass.
Yeah, he's just going to get more and more confidence I think playing on grass over the years. He moves as well as anyone out there, as well. He can flatten the ball out, make life tough for both Roger and Rafa, I think.

Q. How is the injury, the hip injury?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's still hanging around there a little bit. I don't expect it to disappear overnight. Yeah, it's a matter of just getting on the court, trying to get through as well as possible.

Q. Does the hip rule out the golf course?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I haven't played golf for a few months. I haven't actually tested it with golf. When I was home, I couldn't do much for a couple of months really. Haven't been able to test it. But I won't be testing it before Wimbledon.

Q. Normally next week...

LLEYTON HEWITT: I played once last year here. Yeah, I don't think I'll be going out this year.

Q. Next week will just be practice? Will you play a couple of matches in the exhibition?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not sure. At this stage just practice. I'm happy with the matches I got this week. A couple areas to still work on. Yeah, once I get over to Wimbledon hopefully in a week's time, I'll have more confidence on the grass, as well.

Q. Is there a difference at Aorangi and Wimbledon compared to here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: There's a little bit. I'm not exactly sure what it is, though. That's the hardest thing. But it's definitely a little bit of difference. It probably starts a little bit longer I'd say at Wimbledon, but it's got to last two weeks as well, whereas here it's only a week's tournament. The first couple days at Wimbledon, it's probably a little bit longer than they need to have it here.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


June 23, 2008, 1st Round

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/R. Haase
6-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Lleyton Hewitt. We'll take the first question, please.

Q. Obviously a very tough match. Good to get through.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you know, tried to do as much homework before the match. Spoke to quite a few players. I'd never really seen him play that much before. And, you know, all the guys I spoke to and had played against him said he was a very dangerous player.
So, you know, I was expecting a tough match out there today. Yeah, he served extremely well for five sets. Perhaps, you know, lost his first-serve percentage a little bit in the fifth set, which I had to take advantage of.
But apart from that, you know, he's got a lot of firepower from both sides as well.

Q. Does it get harder to come through five-set matches like that as you get older, do you think?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes and no. But, you know, if I get into a fifth set I'm feeling pretty confident. So, you know, obviously I was disappointed that I lost the fourth set because I felt like I had the whole momentum in the fourth set. I just wasn't quite able to get those, you know, little chances or take those chances throughout the fourth set.
But, you know, obviously he came out and won it in a tiebreak. You know, I was a little thankful that I was going to be advantage in the fifth set.

Q. Do you think it was your experience that counted against his maybe?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. I lost serve once for the match, and that was only at 5-1 in the third set, I think. So apart from that I really didn't feel like I was under pressure a lot on my service games, and I felt like I was putting a lot more pressure on his.
That's the good thing about five sets out there. The fifth set is an advantage set. Even though he played a couple of great sets where I couldn't break his serve, I was still able to get, you know, through.

Q. These are pretty crucial times for the ATP. Are you satisfied with the board election that took place this weekend? Do you favor retaining Etienne de Villiers as the chairman or would you like to see a change at the top?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't I still don't know anything about the board, who is on the board or the council. To tell you the truth, I haven't been that worried about it, especially this week.
Yeah, right at the moment I haven't been on the tour leading into the French Open, whatever, when the guys were having a lot of talk about what should probably be going on in that. Right at the moment I'm not too fussed.

Q. Does it worry you that it was that hard a game on day one? Does it affect your confidence at all about how far you can go this time?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. When you sit down at the start of the tournament, to win the tournament, you have to win seven best-of-five matches. You got to get through those seven matches somehow.
Every opponent's different, and my opponent on Wednesday's gonna be -- it's gonna be chalk and cheese with the guy that I played today in terms of my whole strategy against him. They're both styles of play as well. You really have to focus on that match that you have to come up against.

Q. Do your expectations lower as you get further away from 2002?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, no.

Q. When you say "chalk and cheese," what do you remember of Montanes from the last time you played him two years ago?

LLEYTON HEWITT: On grass he doesn't have the biggest serve. He's not going to serve me off the court like this guy could potentially today. Yeah, he's got a sneaky sort of slice serve out there and then a pretty good kick second serve, but you're always going to have a shot at it.
The toughest thing, he's a clay court specialist, there's no doubt about that. He's going to have a good forehand and he moves well. But, you know, he's not going to feel that comfortable on grass, which is a good thing.

Q. How, specifically, does the hip affect you when you're playing? Is it about speed? Is it about direction?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit of everything, yeah. It's sort of -- yeah, every shot pretty much at different times. Obviously, when I've got to move and get in certain positions, then it's a lot worse obviously.
But it's not just one position that, you know, I sort of say, yeah, that's it. That's where I feel it, so...

Q. Could you estimate what percentage fitness you are at at the moment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to put a number on it really. Right at the moment I'm probably a little worse than four hours ago (smiling). But, yeah, it's hard to put a number on it. But come Wednesday I'll be fine.

Q. What do you do treatment-wise between now and then?

LLEYTON HEWITT: There's not a whole lot I can really do to turn it around in such short notice. It's more ice, massage, yeah, just stretching, trying to not make it any worse in the next 24 hours, 48 hours.

Q. How many foot faults were you called for? How distracting is that to you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure how many got called in the end. The more distracting part is probably, yeah, after you get called once you stand back a bit further obviously, because for some reason there's only one person that kept calling. We played two and a half sets without that one person when they changed people, and then the same bloke came back again and I got done again.
That was my query to Fergus Murphy in the chair. Even when that other person down the other baseline end wasn't calling foot faults. And then we swapped and got two totally new people when they changed linespeople and they both didn't call it.
Then this bloke's come back again and called it, so that was my biggest query.

Q. Was he right to call your conduct unsportsmanlike?

LLEYTON HEWITT: When I tapped the ball over to him?

Q. Whatever the guy in the chair called you unsportsmanlike for.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. After I held serve I just tapped the ball across. It didn't touch him.

Q. Was it a fair call by him, or not?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I would doubt it. No, I would be fighting that.

Q. When you come back each year, do you have any sense of how many more Wimbledons you have left in you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I guess more so probably with injuries you're just never sure what's around the corner. Obviously coming here this year, yeah, for me two months ago, there were probably a few doubts that I'd be able to play here. Speaking to doctors and getting scans and that.
I had to make decisions on where I felt I was at and whether it was, you know, too much risk to come and play here and the French Open.
So, yeah, probably more so from an injury front you just don't know what's around the corner. But in terms of playing, yeah, doesn't cross my mind. I'm thankful that I'm here this year and enjoying it.

Q. I think I'm right that you were hitting with Andy Murray over the weekend here.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, we warmed up one day.

Q. Can you give us an indication, did his game seem pretty sharp to you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, we didn't do anything the day we hit. It was blowing a hurricane yesterday, so... It was very hard to judge where Andy's at just on that hit. Obviously he's got an outside chance of doing well here and going into the second week of a Grand Slam.
I don't think he's made a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam yet. I have no idea what his draw's like. But potentially with the way that he plays, he moves extremely well on this surface, he's got a shot.

Q. Do you have any advice for Gooch, whose Grand Slam record is a bit underwhelming at this point, and he had another disappointing loss today. Do you speak to him at all about how he can turn things around? He is obviously the successor to you clearly when you do go.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I only just found out before I walked in here that he'd lost today. Yeah, it's a tough one. Playing a lucky loser, I don't know when he would have found out that he's playing a different guy. I don't know if he knew much about the guy, as well.
It's a tough situation in that, but there's no doubt that he's got to take advantage of that, as well. So, yeah, he's been a little under the weather this whole week, as well, which isn't the best thing. But over five sets on this surface, he'd have to like his chances.
Yeah, even if he's not feeling a hundred percent he's got to try and find a way to get through those matches in Grand Slams. That's where he's really got to get to that next level, that's what he needs to do.

Q. What do you think of your draw with Federer in the fourth round?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not even focused on that at the moment. I got to get there.

Q. Doesn't wake you up in the middle of the night?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I might play him in the final if I was in the other half. I'm not sure what you're getting to.

Q. Do you spend much time with the sort of up-and-coming kids in Australia like Bernard Tomic?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I haven't spent a lot with Bernard. He was at our last Davis Cup tie. That was pretty much the first time I met him, seen him around at all. I probably spent more time. Out of the juniors, probably Brydan Klein over the last couple years, purely because he's been at Davis Cup ties, I've been able to hit with him quite a bit.
You try and help them out as much as possible. I've had some of the younger guys come across to my house in Sydney and hit there as well. Yeah, when it fits in, it's good for them, and it's good for me, as well.

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