Lleyton's Press Conference - Page 22 - MensTennisForums.com
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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/I. Kunitsyn
6‑2, 4‑6, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Always good to get the first match of the year out of the way. What did you make of tonight?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was pretty high quality tennis actually for the whole two hours, three tough sets. It was a good start to the tournament for me.
I didn't really play too many bad points the whole match. He came out there with the attitude he had nothing to lose, which a lot of lucky losers do, and that makes it awkward playing those guys.
But I kept my concentration. I stuck it out. It was probably a 20‑minute period there through the end of the second set, start of the third, where he was playing some great tennis, and I had to weather the storm then.
Then I was able to jump on him when I got a small opportunity in the third.

Q. Your serve early on, he hardly got a look at it. Was that something you have been working on and you feel is improving as you get older?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. I always got to keep improving my serve. Yeah, I'm a good enough returner that I'm going to get opportunities to break serve, so if I can take care of my service games then it makes life a lot easier.
I didn't get the highest percentage in early, but I was hitting my spots when I did go in. Then I sort of dropped away and his second serve return really picked up. That's where he hurt me a little but. He really took the second serve early and started dictating the point with that shot.

Q. Did you feel a momentum swing in the second set? Did you mentally just feel like you sagged a little bit or do you think he just picked up?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I felt like there was a small opportunity where I should've put him a away, and I missed a sort of touch drop volley at 15‑40 to go, I think, 4‑2 up in the second.
Right at the stage of felt like I was well on top. I was dictating play. I was attacking his serve. He wasn't being able to sort of run me around too much. Then I had one break point at 4‑3, I think, as well.
And then the next game he played well. I didn't make any first serves, it was really only that one service game.
But I didn't hit the ball poorly that game. He stepped it up. His confidence obviously grew from there on in. That makes it tough for me to then try and knock it back down early in the third.

Q. Explain the difference between how you're feeling today as opposed to 12 months ago when you were obviously still fairly hampered by injury?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the best thing for me is you just have a clear mind. You know, you sort of dreaded going on the practice court and how much pain you were going to be in on the match court.
To have that in the back of your mind was just tough. You couldn't go out there with a clear mind to enjoy playing tennis and competing knowing you were going to in pain every time you stepped out there to run for any kind of ball.
That's the best thing about it at the moment. I can just get ready for practice tomorrow and enjoy warming up without having injections and the rest of it.
Yeah, that's the nice part about this year instead of 12 months ago.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

Lleyton Hewitt


D. ISTOMIN/L. Hewitt
7‑5, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Disappointing. Just give us your thoughts about that. It was very tight.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, just didn't take my chances. Should have been up an early break in the first and the second set.
Yeah, he hit his spots well on his serve all day today. Yeah, just felt like nothing really went right: the Hawk‑Eye calls, how many lines he hit, yeah, even net cords when I got them they sort of set up for him to hit passing shots.
It was sort of one of those matches where I just tried scrapping around and trying to hang in there for as long as I could.
I still had opportunities. Even at 5‑All in the second set I fought hard to stay in the second set. Then 5‑All had break point and nearly came up with that and hit the tape and bounced back.
Just one of those days.

Q. You going to Kooyong; is that right?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I play Kooyong. Would have liked another match or two here, but, yeah, I was pretty happy with my ball‑striking at least. Just didn't, as I said, quite take my chances today when they came up.
You know, both sets ‑ especially the first set ‑ I felt like I was putting a lot more pressure on his service games and just didn't get rewarded for it.

Q. A little bit flatter than you were in the game the other night?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, maybe a little bit flatter, but not too bad. I had a pretty good hit‑out yesterday in the head, I guess. Yeah, the weather, that takes a bit more out of you, but physically felt fine on the court.
That wasn't a problem.

Q. A little bit frustrating when you're physically in good nick and can't get the games you want?

LLEYTON HEWITT: That's tennis, though. You know, it happens every week. It's nice that I can put myself in a position to feel good and feel like I can play match after match. That's what you do the training for.
Yeah, it's just frustrating any time that you have chances and you feel like you're in a match and you don't come away with the win.

Q. Going back the end of that second set where of it 4‑5, 5‑All, and a break point, what did you think about then? You think about staying in the point or going for your shots?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Depends. Obviously when I had break point at 5‑All he made a good first serve down the T. I caught the line again, and I could only push it back. I couldn't dictate play, so it was very hard for me to get on top of the point.
He had a short forehand, I hung in there, sort of played a lob, and sort of had to play a reflex sort of backhand pass and it hit the tape and bounced back.
So, yeah, then I fought hard to save a match point and then got an easier backhand and just overhit it at deuce to give myself a game point there to take the second set into a tiebreak.
Yeah, it's a game inches.

Q. I know you would have liked a chance to play Andy here. I think you might get the chance in Kooyong.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. Is he playing?

Q. I think he may be. Are you looking forward to playing those top guys at Kooying just so you can measure yourself against those guys before you go to Melbourne?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, Kooyong you're guaranteed three matches, so that's a good thing. The quality of field there is pretty even across the board. Del Potro is obviously extremely good. Monaco, Tipsarevic, top ten players. Most of guys are sort of that 15 to 20 range anyway.
Going to be quality matches every day. Exactly the same conditions as Melbourne, so that's good.

Q. What did you make the Bernard Tomic getting a win over Novak last night?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, obviously he must have hit the ball pretty well to beat Novak. I didn't see a whole heap of it so I can't comment on the match or whatever, but, yeah, it's going to give you a lot confidence. Absolutely.

Q. What else have you got out of this tournament apart from some competitive matches?

LLEYTON HEWITT: That's the biggest thing. Just playing the break points, the deuce points, fighting off tough situations. When you've had a couple months no matches, it doesn't matter how many practice match you play. Until you get in that situation of playing the tight points and going for your shots and stuff like that on the big points, that's what counts.
The two matches have been absolutely a bonus this week, but, yeah, would have been nice to have a couple more.

Q. How did it feel in the middle of that‑unfortunately second set when there seemed to be a bit of a comeback coming from you? Did it feel like it was starting to come together at that point?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It was an up and down match. There was small momentum swings throughout the match. As I said, throughout the first set I felt like the better player for the majority of it.
He served well on the big points and hit the ball extremely clean from both sides, and he was kind of just slapping away only my service games. I had to fight back from a couple Love‑30s.
The second set, you know, I was down a few breakpoints, fought that off and then ended up breaking, and then he played a good game to break me back.
You know, could have gone either way.

Q. Will you go to Sydney for an couple days or straight to Melbourne?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. Haven't decided.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

Lleyton Hewitt

Kooyong, Melbourne

Q. Lleyton, I just wondered after a win and a loss in Brisbane, how you're feeling about your preparation so far?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, feeling pretty good. My movement has been - been great. The foot's not giving me any problems whatsoever, which is a nice thing to say, for a long time. So yes, obviously my movement is such a key part of my game and always has been. So you know, to have confidence back in my movement and my foot is - you know, gives a lot more self belief and you know, my practice sessions so far at Melbourne Park have been as good as I could have hoped for.

Q. You obviously had a good run to the fourth round at Melbourne Park last year, there's a few points there on the line. I know you're an old hand at defending points, but does that give any - a different sort of approach to your Australian Open this year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, well I think I've - it's the only points I've got until Newport. So you know, in terms of points, it's not what I play for, you know, and especially at this stage of my career and after so many surgeries. I play to compete in, obviously, the majors and Davis Cup is very special. So you know, for me it's like any other Grand Slam and getting out there and competing. Obviously when you're not high - highly ranked, then you know, it opens up to playing anyone early on and we'll see what happens with the draw.

Q. Lleyton, you had to deal with some pretty significant injuries in the last few years. Have you learnt a little bit more about preparing your body at this stage of your career and if so, how has it changed?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It hasn't changed - you know, it hasn't changed that much. Really, you know, the hardest thing obviously is going through all the rehab. and you know, after the last surgery I guess the self doubt in the back of your mind, whether it's going to get back to even close to 100 per cent and not having to go out and play in pain every match. And you know, that's a good thing for me for now, I can actually go out there with a clear mind in terms of just worrying about hitting the ball and competing against these guys. It's hard enough playing them when you are 100 per cent, let alone when you're in pain and you've got an injury. So you know, in terms of training wise, it was you know, so pleasing for me in November-December to be able to do all the exercises that I haven't been able to do the last couple of years.

Q. And given that fact, where you expect to be in the Australian Open? You've had a pretty injury-free run to this point, what are your expectations?

Like all these guys, you just take it one match at a time. You know, the first week in any major you can lose and you certainly can't win it, so it's a matter of putting yourself in a position to be there in the second week. And you know, every match is tough and you've got to be prepared to play, you know, five set matches every second day. And you know, obviously a lot is going to depend on the draw but you know, I'll be out there giving 100 per cent, as usual.

Q. Lleyton, we have seen Sam Stosur really struggle under the pressure and expectation of playing in front of a home crowd in Sydney and Brisbane in first round exits. But for you on the flip side, it seems you really thrive under that pressure. Are you encouraging all Australians to sort of create a bit of a Davis Cup like atmosphere both here at Kooyong and at Melbourne Park in two and a half weeks?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's – it's always fun for me obviously playing in Australia and getting the opportunity of playing big tournaments in front of my home fans, and you know, the support I've always got wherever it is in Australia is amazing. You know, obviously it's hard to beat, you know, playing a night match at the Australian Open in front of 15,000 people barracking for you. So, you know, it's something that I've really enjoyed and I guess, you know, even towards the end of your career it's, you know, moments like that that you're going to miss when you do retire. So you know, I guess I try and take it in my stride as much as possible and enjoy it out there. And you know, it's something that I've had to do since I was 15 or 16 so I've sort of got used to it.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

AAMI Classic Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club

Questions for Lleyton Hewitt


MS KELLEY: Congratulations Lleyton on your win and welcome back to Kooyong. So can we have some questions?


Q.The kind of match you wanted?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, it's good. Obviously really tough conditions for everyone out there playing today and you know, it's what you come to expect though, playing at Kooyong on centre court. It's always tough, you know, with the wind. If it's a calm day in the city, there's still going to be a little bit of wind out there on centre court and it's sort of blustery. It's very tough to get a guide on actually which way it's going. So a lot of it's sort of playing percentage tennis out there, but also yes, you've to hit your spots and you know, good movement and mental toughness, I guess, as well.

Q. And all those things were as you wanted them to be?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, well obviously playing Milos as well, that tests - tests your mental toughness and you know, you feel like you get a lot of half chances out there and he takes them away from you straight away. So to keep plugging away and keep giving yourself those opportunities, it's - you know, it's the perfect kind of preparation and hit out that I needed.

Q. Does that sharpen the focus, I suppose, with the ball moving in, it actually moved, I suppose, inside and then sweeping (indistinct) or (indistinct)?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, a little bit, I guess. You know, the only down side - you know, you don't want to be going out and just pushing the ball, you want to be able to go - go for your shots as well. But you know, as a whole, you know, I played pretty well. You know, in terms of serve, I served extremely well in the first set, hit my spots well. The second set, just didn't quite get enough first serves in and he decided to really step it up on my second serve. And you know, he's such a big guy with - with the dangerous shots, so I felt like I was on the back foot for a lot of the second set. And you know, early in the third set I sort of had to weather the storm and save a couple of break points and hang in there.

Q. So given the preparation you've had, how many (indistinct)?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I feel pretty sharp out there at the moment. As I said, you know, return wise I - I - you know, he's got one of the biggest serves out there and in tough conditions and whatever I could get my racquet on, I put him under pressure most times. So in terms of that, you know, there's a lot of positives. You know, there's always areas he gave me - you feel like you can do a little bit better, but you know, all in all, we move on to tomorrow.

Q. How much has (indistinct) improved since you've been (indistinct)?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's a lot better than it was. You know, even - you know, it's started turning around for me, probably halfway through to the end of the Newport week. I started not having pain in my foot and then I played the Olympics with no pain, which you know, my movement, to beat Cilic and Stakhovsky and then I obviously pushed Novak on centre court, was as well as I've moved in a long time. Then the tough thing was learning to move on hard court, once I got to the US Open and that again. But now I feel like I'm moving a lot better now than I was at the US Open. So you know, all in all, it probably just took a little bit more time than - you know, I'm always in a hurry and trying to rush through as quickly as possible. But you know, all in all it's - you know, I couldn't be happier with how the surgery has turned out.

Q. Do you have to compensate with special inserts in shoes or - - -

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, no, just - I've just got a lot of screws and metal plates in there and I can't move it.

Q. Does that have a knock-on effect beyond the physical, mentally when playing you don't need to think about that pain?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, it just - off the court, I - you know, this year compared to going into the Australian Open last year is - mentally it was very wearing for me last year, I had an injection before any warm up hit before a match. You know, so I don't know how many injections I had last January, it was just - it was getting out of control. So, in terms of mentally, I can just focus on what I need to do and my game, which is a lot - you know, that's refreshing.

Q. Does it allow you to spend more time on the practice court

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, I could if I wanted. You know, I - sort of right at the moment, I felt like - obviously in January - November-December, I spent quite a bit of time and you know, could do whatever I needed to do and - whereas last year, I was obviously, you know, cutting corners a little bit more.

Q. Travelling with Looch all of the year, (indistinct), what does he bring to your sort of entourage and your approach?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well firstly he's a good mate, so you know, it's always important to have people around you that - you know, you trust and get along well and he knows my game and what makes me tick as well. You know, so I have a lot of confidence in him with that. You know, plus he knows my strengths my weaknesses as well and how to get the best out of me. He's a very positive guy as well, which is a good thing and - so no, it's going to be a bit of fun. I've always enjoyed - got along extremely well with Looch, tried to help him out as much as possible when he was playing and you know, obviously we're pretty close family friends too.

Q. So how much did you have to do last year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He only did a little bit, now and then. He did a lot more sort of practice weeks last year than actual tournaments, and then he was at the Davis Cup ties. Whereas Roachie won't do as much travelling this year, and Roachie will – you know, which is fantastic for me, because, you know, obviously Roachie will – I think he's going to be at Wimbledon and the grass court season and Davis Cup ties and everything anyway, so you know, I get both of them, and they get along extremely well, which is great for me.

Q. Are they sort of co-coaches are they?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, I guess. Yes, I don't know what Roachie is he's a jack of all trades, you know, his golf partner, his everything so – only Roachie doesn't play golf, so - - -

Q. So do you feel kind of reborn as a player with all these (indistinct) going to this year (indistinct) as you have (indistinct).

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, as I've just said – you know for me mentally there's no stress or extra pressure about my body at the moment, which is – it just leaves me with a clear mind. I don't know what more to say – you know, I'm just – you know, for me it's just – it makes you happier to be out there doing the hard work and not grimacing every time you've got to do something, but you know, I've never said I can't do anything or whatever in training. But you've just got to push through the pain the whole time, whereas this I can sort of push myself a little bit harder, and still feel good.

Q. You should be feeling better results (indistinct)?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, obviously – you know, a lot depends on draws obviously going into the majors and whatever, but you know, I obviously want to peak at the Grand Slam and you know, for me the Australian Open and Wimbledon are the two priorities.

Q. You've always been known as a very mentally tough player Lleyton, do you see yourself now as mentally the toughest you've ever been in your career?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I've always prided myself on being pretty tough mentally anyway, you know, even when I was 20 and world No.1 I – you know, I felt like I won so many matches through mental toughness back then, and doing the right things, and those one percenters really got me across the line in so many close matches. I don't think that's changed that much, you know, I still – you know, I still believe in myself and back myself out there. But – yes I feel like I - you know, when the going gets tough I'm there, and I enjoy those moments.

Q. (Indistinct) next year, and you've come out now and said that you're not going to play the second one, is that disappointing for someone like you, who's always had their hand up?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, I guess. I haven't – has someone said something to me I haven't spoken to him about it, has he said it – yes, so I haven't – I haven't spoken – I'd like to have a chat with him obviously at some stage about it more and just seek, because I know Pat, you know, he's pretty frustrated, you know, for one – you know, he wants to have the best possible team we can have, and Bernie's in that, there's no doubt about it. So, you know, that's a tough one. Obviously, you know, he had to work on a few things before he got back in the tie, and whether that's had any influence on him missing the second tie then I don't know. But I personally haven't spoken to Bernie about it, but I feel like the last year and a half, two years, I've got - you know, I'm probably the closest out of anyone with him, which, you know, a lot of people would find amazing after a few years ago.

Q. (Indistinct) persuaded him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know, I haven't spoken to him, and I'm not going to talk to him right now about it. It's not the right time. So – you know, it's disappointing he's not playing the first tie, but that's for other reasons than Bernie, you know, missing it himself. That's not for his own reasons. So – you know, there's still a bit of time before the second one. We'll have to wait and see, and that's if Pat – you hope one season he's allowed to play two. That's Pat's call and Josh Eagle and Roachie, you know it's not mine.

OK, anyone else? Thanks very much Lleyton.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

Lleyton Hewitt Media Transcript

AAMI Classic Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club

Questions for Lleyton Hewitt

MS KELLEY: (indistinct) Lleyton. Fine, I said that. OK, questions please?

Q. How - how did you feel out there?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, it - yes, in the end felt really good. The start just, you know, his weight of shot and how heavy hits the ball and how clean, just took a few games to really get a feel of and sort of weather his storm a little bit out there. He's such a clean ball striker off both sides, and you know, with the wind up there I started against the breeze and you know, dropped a couple of balls a bit short and you just took care of it straight away. So it just took me a couple of games to get my confidence, in terms of where my depth was at and how hard and high and stuff like that, to - to hit the ball to him. So not allow him to try and dictate play as much. But in the end, you know, it was - it was obviously a good score line, but it was a lot tighter match than that.

Q. How pleasing is it to go six and third, you know, late yesterday in this round and almost bounce out and really seemed to run through strongly, especially in the second set.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, no the body felt great. The second set, I - my confidence was up then and my ball striking, I was really happy with. You know, I was attacking in serve, I was putting pressure on it. Obviously whatever I could get a racquet on, on his first serve, but his second serve was, you know, the ones that were sitting there, I was taking care of it. And you know, I was putting him under as much pressure as he was putting me and you know, those bigger guys, they don't like to be dictated to, obviously. So you know, all in all, I - you know, I stepped it up from yesterday and yes, I was happy with the progress.

Q. What sort of confidence booster is it for Saturday and next week, just given yes, his ranking and the year his - - -

LLEYTON HEWITT:Yes, no, he's a quality player. I've hit with him an awful lot in practice. Haven't played him that many times, not in the last couple of years either, but he's good on all surfaces and he's the kind of guy who, you know, could easily sneak through and be dangerous in the quarters, or semis, or possibly final of the Aussie Open in a couple of weeks. So you know, it's good to get a win like that against a quality player and you know, you've still got to build on it though, as well, and you know it gives me a lot more confidence though, for sure.

Q. Lleyton, last night Tomas expressed a bit of concern with that 25 second. What's your thought on it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, I thought it was - it went over the top in what I saw in Brisbane, when I was there. Yes, I don't think I've ever - I can't recall getting a time violation in my career and I feel like I played, you know, not that quick, but not slow by any means. And you were thinking about it in Brisbane, and I don't think that's a good thing. I don't think it's a good thing for tennis. And that's the issue that I had with it, more than anything, is that you know in the third set tie breaker, I know Baghdatis, you know, lost the first serve or whatever, we just don't need that. You know, in the third set tie breaker, players shouldn't be worrying about that, they should be trying to - the game's hard enough as it is, so yes, that's where my concerns are.

Q. Tomas said the only - the first time he knew about it, when he saw it on the wall in Chennai, he said it was sent by email. Were you aware of the change fairly early?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, the first time I heard about it was when I was at the net for my doubles match in Brisbane and the umpire told me. So that was how I was aware of it, which was interesting and I sort of joked with Paul Hanley, who I was playing against at the time, so we might just hit second serves anyway. So it was - that was the first I heard about it, I didn't - didn't know the full extent of it.

Q So you never got docked - - -

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not that - not that I'd seen or checked. Maybe I don't check enough, or something, I don't know, but ? ? ?

Q But as you said, you play pretty quickly (indistinct)?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, I just felt that it's something that players shouldn't have to worry about. The game is tough enough as it is and - you know, and as I said, it was in my mind playing in Brisbane last week and it shouldn't be. You know, I've never done anything time wise to - you know, to take away from your opponent. It's never been a reason, you know, to try and get a cheap point, whatever it may be and I don't think - you know, I heard Murray and even Tomas say yesterday, you know the final with Nadal and Djokovic, you know, that was six hours or whatever it was of absolute quality tennis and we don't want to, you know, take away from those guys doing that.

Q. I think by definition I think it's supposed to be, by definition I think it's only supposed to be 20 seconds of Gram Slam.


Q. Obviously it's a different - - -

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, yeah, it's all, it's hard when you've got the ATP as one and then the ITF another. That's, you know, and they've never seen eye to eye on anything, you know. And you know, I've always felt that with the Davis Cup anyway, you know, scheduling and everything. So it's, you know, some of the umpires are obviously the same that do both, both jobs, but that's about as far as it goes.

Q. Do you think the Davis Cup thing is getting a bit messy with you now saying you won't, don't want to talk to Pat till September?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm not going to get into it anymore, you know. I don't have to worry about that. I've got – got a job to do here and in, you know, next week in Melbourne. And Pat and Bernie will work it out themselves.

Q Just with these (indistinct) in recent events and even practising, do you strive for perfection each time that you go out and play? Is that something that you think is - - -

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I do. I always give 100 per cent, no matter what I'm playing. I try and play with a purpose or go out there with a purpose and, you know, I've always prided myself. That's why I love working with Roachie so much because every practice session we do, there's a purpose behind it. And you know, even going out there and playing the last two matches, you know, in the last two days, there's still areas that we're working on. And you know, I look up at Roachie and I can see him, you know, happy with some of the stuff that I'm doing and what we're trying to do out there to obviously become a better player. So, you know, that's always in the back of your mind in, especially in these kind of events.

Q Lleyton, a couple of your rivals here in this tournament have said that even though you are ranked about 82nd, they know they're not playing an 82nd ranked player.


Q Where do you feel your form is at the moment in terms of ranking?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Um, I don't know. Yeah, I feel like I can compete with pretty much anyone out there. And you know, obviously playing the best guys over five sets, day in and day out, is pretty tough. But you know, when I go out there to play against these guys, you know, I hit with Roger the other day and hit the ball extremely well at Melbourne Park. You know, I feel like I can compete still against the best guys, otherwise I wouldn't be putting myself through all the – all the grind of getting up and doing all the hard preparation to be out there. But you know, playing in events like next week, that makes it all worthwhile.

Q. Thanks very much, Lleyton.


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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

Lleyton Hewitt Media Transcript

AAMI Classic Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club

Questions for Lleyton Hewitt


MS KELLEY: Well, Lleyton, congratulations on your second AAMI Classic Championship. And we'll have questions now?


Q. Well, Lleyton, I guess that couldn't have worked out much better for you the way you played this afternoon?

LLEYTON HEWITT:Yeah. No, it was good. I felt like every match I got better and better and more confident, and especially my ball stroking. Today I just felt like it was really coming out the middle of the racket right from the word go, and I was seeing the ball well. I moved really well and, you know, I felt sharp out there which is, you know, it's a good sign.

Q. Are you little bit surprised yourself a little bit how well you played this week?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. No, I've - like I felt like in practice I've been hitting the ball well. I did a lot of hard training in November, December and, you know, as I said a couple of days ago Roachie and I - you know, we got out every training session with a purpose to try and improve and do certain things. Sometimes the conditions on this - on centre court here at Kooyong it's tough to play clean tennis. But against Berdych and even more so today I felt like I hit the ball as clean as I have in a long time.

Q. (Indistinct) three guys (indistinct) what is it you want it to tell you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, you know, next week's totally different obviously. Playing a major and over five sets and, you know, it just gives me confidence so that, you know - Del Potro or three of the biggest guys - you know, biggest servers out there and I was on their serves for a lot of this week which is for me a big sign of where I am and - and how sharp I am on the court and - and especially on second serves. I was putting a lot of pressure of their service games. So for those big servers if they are missing their first serves at least they know that, you know, I'm going to jump on it and do something with it. So, you know, that was one of the most pleasing things this week.

Q. Have you put in a request for your first round match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I haven't, no.

Q. You don't want - don't care really - - -

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, no. I - I believe I'm playing Monday so - yeah, I don't know when yet.

Q. You're getting better all the time though? I know you have been (indistinct) but is a return to the Top 10 or 15, is that a realistic goal for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: If I played every week I'm sure it is. Yeah, I don't know how much I'll, you know, play again this year. I'll still pick and choose and, you know, I've got a family look after as well and my priorities as I say is the - you know, at the start of the year the Davis Cup ties. Making myself available and - and working back. Like which weeks I want to play before a Davis Cup tie and then the Grand Slams and - and obviously for me, you know, especially the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US, they're the - the three that I feel like I can, you know, have my best chance of - of going deep in.

Q. So the ranking is not really

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's not important to me, no.

Q. You don't care about that - - -

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not a lot, no.

Q. We have to ask you about that first round (indistinct)

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, it was a first round. It - you know, there's not too many easy first rounds though and - and when you're unseeded you know that - you know, within the first two rounds you're going to draw a seed. You know it's going to be someone anyway. So last year, you know, it was Andy Roddick and I obviously Raonich's (indistinct) in, you know, in second and third rounds. And, you know, Tsonga the first round at Wimbledon and now I've got another Top 8 seed obviously. So, you know, Tipsarevic is a quality player. He's - he's improved a lot in the last year and a half, two years and, you know, it's going to be a tough match but, you know, I'll be ready for it. I know I feel like I'm hitting the ball well. I've done - you know, it's nice to know in the back of your mind you've done all the - all the right preparation to go out there and just play.

Q. Do you feel he's maybe slightly vulnerable given that he didn't play much here this week, and he appears to be a bit troubled by that - - -

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I don't know how much trouble with - yeah, I'm planning on him being 100 per cent come Monday.

Q What do you (indistinct)

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'll be doing recovery obviously this afternoon and this evening and then tomorrow I'll just have a light hit at Melbourne Park and obviously get ready for - for Monday.

Q. You mentioned how good you feel. Can you remember the last time you felt this good (a) with your form and (b) with your fitness going in to an Australian Open?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, no. There's always been some kind of niggling injury so - yeah, I don't know. It's been a while.

Q. Would it be five, six, seven years? Would it be that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I'm not sure. Yeah, obviously I can't remember. You know, two years ago I was not doing too bad though. You know, when I lost to Nalbandian. That match point in that first round and a pretty high standard match, and I obviously won here in Kooyong the week before as well. So, you know, obviously closest memory as to how felt last year though at Melbourne Park, which was - wasn't fantastic.

Q. Your court movement in all three matches looked - looks like it's back to what it was. Do you feel like it's that way when you're out there?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Look, it's pretty good. Today I felt like - from the back of the court if I could get his serve back I felt like even as a big a ball striker as he is I still felt like I could run down a lot of his shots, which gives me a lot of confidence and obviously because I feel like I - you know, I can, you know, counterpunch so well out there. It's always been one of my strengths and, yeah, if I can keep making him play and - and get that extra ball back then, you know, the pressure builds as well especially over five sets.

Q Fitness-wise no problems - - -

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, that's never been a problem.

MS KELLEY: Anyone else? Thanks very much. Thanks, Lleyton.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

Pre-tournament press conference with Lleyton Hewitt

Q. How are you feeling after yesterday? Obviously a good result. What do you take out of Kooyong?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, no, I feel good. Obviously just have a light hit today and get ready for tomorrow night.

Yeah, no, it was exactly what I wanted out of the week at Kooyong. The pleasing thing for me, I feel like I got better with every match. My sharpness and cleanness, even my moving.

Yeah, a lot of positives to take out of it.

Q. How do you compare how you are at the moment to how you've been in previous years? On a level scale, how do you feel?

LLEYTON HEWITT: The last couple matches I've hit the ball as well as I can remember when I hit it. I feel confident with where my game's at at the moment. There's still a couple things I got to try to take care of when I'm on the match court.

But all in all, when my moving comes together and I'm serving well, my returns and obviously passing shots and counterpunching has been pretty good anyways. Yeah, I've been practicing well on my off days. So far I haven't put too many feet wrong.

Yeah, you still got to go out there and do it tomorrow.

Q. The level of people you've beaten, is that a huge confidence boost?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Well, it's confidence in terms of going out there and matching it with the best players. They've got extremely big weapons. I was able to work around that, sort of open them up out there. I felt the way I was able to be aggressive with the bigger, stronger guys, all three matches are three of the biggest hitters out there. I was not able only to get their serve back but put them under pressure on their service games. So that gives me a lot of confidence moving forward.

Q. Tipsarevic, you've played him a bit. What's your take on that match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I haven't played him for a few years now. But he's improved a bit in the last couple years obviously to get in the top 10. It's going to be a tough match obviously over five sets.

I feel like all I can control is my preparation and doing all the right things. I've done absolutely everything in my power. I look forward to the challenge tomorrow.

Q. Your 17th time at Melbourne park. Do you take confidence knowing you're playing him on Rod Laver Arena, and do you harness the support from the crowd?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's not something I think before I go out there. I'm more worried about my game, getting off to a good start, getting my teeth into the match more than anything.

Once I'm out there in the atmosphere, the adrenaline is pumping, it sort of takes care of the itself. I've been in that situation playing big matches out on that court. I'm so familiar with it and I enjoy the surroundings. That's a positive and a bonus.

Q. How did you react when you saw you drew Janko in the first round and he's highly ranked? Did you go, Damn?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't care. I'll knock him off, try to take his spot in the draw.

Q. I saw yesterday that you have played the same amount of opens as Federer. A lot of history. You've achieved a lot. Do you feel pride being able to keep competing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Obviously, I've missed a lot more slams than Rog, too. I started before him. I've had a few more injuries than Rog and had to come back from a few surgeries, which is pretty tough.

But to play 17 Australian Opens in a row, main draw in singles, is something not easy to do. To be fit, I haven't been a hundred percent for all of them, but in terms of the staying power, being able to play through generations, is something I'll look back on and be pretty proud of.

Q. Are you completely injury free at the moment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm feeling pretty good.

Q. When was the last time you played coming here when you didn't have anything?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. A couple years ago I was feeling pretty good coming in. I won Kooyong two years ago, then lost to Nalbandian in a high quality match where I had match points, could have gone either way. Obviously last year I wasn't close to a hundred percent coming in.

Q. Have you thought about the possibility that this might be the last one?


Q. I believe it's your 17th straight Australian Open. Do you believe or have the belief in yourself that you can win this?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, I just take it one match at a time. It's the same as anyone out there. To win seven best of five set matches isn't easy on any surface. Obviously, I came really close in 2005.

Yeah, especially the first week, try to get through the first week and see if I can put myself in a position to be there in the second week.

Yeah, you never know. Strange things happen with draws, stuff opening up. I have a tough first up tomorrow, hopefully I can get through that tomorrow and go forward from there.

Q. With you and Bernard in good form, do you think our Australian Open hopes are as good as they have been in recent years?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, obviously we're both hitting the ball well, but we're both unseeded, too. We probably had higher expectations when myself, Philippoussis and Rafter were in the top 10, top 15 in the world, and seeded at the majors.

But obviously with how the Australian rankings have been the last four or five years, yeah, we're both hitting the ball well, obviously confident coming in.

Q. On Bernard, with the form he's in at the moment, how far do you think he can progress?

LLEYTON HEWITT: In this tournament, I don't know. Obviously he's got Roger in the third round. He's had good matches with Roger, but Roger has always been a class above in all their matchups so far.

Bernie still has to get through one match at a time. He can't take anyone lightly, and I don't think he will anyway. But, yeah, it will be an interesting match now playing Roger now that he's got a bit of confidence as well.

Q. Do you enjoy, compared to when you were younger and higher ranked, the anonymity, maybe not anonymity, but the fact there's another young player that takes a lot of the media focus?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, doesn't really worry me (smiling).

Once I go out to play, it's not even in your mind. You do all the preparation. I'm so used to it now anyway, sort of been in the spotlight, played big matches in Grand Slams and everything, it's second nature to you. You don't even worry about it.

Q. Taking yourself out of the tournament, who do you like to win the tournament?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I don't know. Obviously the top three guys are the main guys. There's no doubt about it.

Murray obviously is going to be pretty confident. He had a great finish to the year last year. He won his first major, which the monkey is sort of off his back now. He can sort of go out there and play with a lot less pressure and expectation to win that first one. He's going to be tough to beat.

Novak, the way he bounced back last year for the semi and final, he's going to be confident when he gets back out on Rod Laver Arena, as well.

Those two guys, the two guys I beat, Berdych and Del Potro, there's a handful of guys with a realistic chance.

Q. The crowd will be behind you. Do you need to block that out or do you soak it up?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I just use it to my advantage when I need to, I guess. It gets the adrenaline going. I enjoy being in that situation. Obviously I'd rather 15,000 barracking for me than against me.

No, I enjoy it.

Q. Do the night sessions suit you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Doesn't really bother me. I don't think tomorrow's going to be that hot playing during the day. It's probably not going to be a massive difference. If it was going to be a hot day during the day, sometimes it can be a difference at night playing in heavier conditions. But I don't think tomorrow will be a big deal.

Q. Are you happy with the court speed?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, no. So far I've hit on Rod Laver quite a few times. I'm hitting the ball all right. Can't change it now.

Q. What do you think of the new facility for Australian players?

LLEYTON HEWITT: The new facility is fantastic. It's great. The young Australian players are very fortunate to have such a great facility to train in and recovery, everything. It's awesome over there.

Yeah, you just don't want to be complacent and think they get that everywhere they go. They still have to do the tough yards to make it and not get everything handed to them.

Yeah, the facilities are second to none.

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post #323 of 372 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

Lleyton Hewitt 14-1-13

Q. I think we could tell by your reaction afterwards, that was a hard one for you to swallow. Give us your impressions of how it went for you.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I could have easily been up two sets to love. I fought really hard through the first set. I had 6 5, Love 30. In the second set I had 3 Love, served for it at 5 4.
Yeah, against quality players, you got to take those chances obviously. But, yeah, to his credit, he raised his level and played some great points. The start of the tiebreak, I didn't do a whole heap wrong. He served big when he needed to to get out of trouble.
Yeah, towards the end of the second set, it was more just trying to weather the storm and hang in there more than anything. Even the start of the third set, went down an early break, fought back. He played a couple of good points to break me late in the third.

Q. What did you think of your own level?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I was pretty happy with my ball striking. Moved pretty well. Yeah, just frustrated with the result.

Q. Do nights and occasions like this still keep you eager?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know right at the moment. Yeah, obviously it's so soon after the match. But, you know, frustration, disappointment. They're obviously the first feelings.
Yeah, more so when you put in all the hard yards, you do all the right things. Yeah, I feel like I hit the ball reasonably well for the match. I didn't play a poor standard match. He just played too well on the big points.

Q. To play attacking tennis seemed to be your game plan.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. I wasn't gonna just sit back and let him dictate play obviously. He's such a good ball striker. Even when I did attack, he came up with some unbelievable passing shots. First point of the tiebreak, he came up with the point to get the mini break there. That gave him a bit of confidence to finish off that tiebreak.
Yeah, to come back in the second set, yeah, I didn't do a whole heap wrong. I felt like I came in on the right balls. Yeah, his scrambling and passing shots from out of position were exceptional tonight.

Q. From the double break in the second set, to what degree did you drop a little bit or did he come up with stuff?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it wasn't a lot of me dropping. I think he was sort of borderline just going for everything at 3 Love. He came off to get the first break back. Then at 5 4, he just got confident and got hot, you know, for three or four points there. I was 30 15 up. Yeah, he played three or four good points in a row to get the break back.

Q. May be a little bit of an irrelevance, but were you unhappy when he delayed on a couple of challenges?

LLEYTON HEWITT: There was only one. For one, he played the shot anyway on a return that wasn't by no means too fast for him. I don't think it was just a reaction straight to the umpire to challenge. He'd missed the shot and then decided to challenge.

Q. Do you feel you gave everything you had during the match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I gave a hundred percent, so...

Q. Is he an underrated player, do you think?

LLEYTON HEWITT: If he plays like that all the time, he is. I don't think he does play like that all the time.

Q. You think he rose to the occasion a bit tonight?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He played as well as he could play, there's no doubt about it. Yeah, he's only won four titles. There's not too many guys in the top 10 consistently that have only won four titles. So there's something missing there.
But, yeah, I've seen him play big matches against Andy Roddick at Wimbledon. Obviously, he came really close a few years back to beating Roger here. I think he beat Andy as well in the US Open at a night match.
He's a quality player, there's no doubt about it; otherwise he wouldn't be in the top 10. But for him to stay in the top 10, he has to play that level week in and week out.

Q. He's 27, 28. Why do you think he's taken that long to get to the top 10?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No idea. I don't know. I don't know him at all, so I wouldn't have a clue.

Q. What did your level today leave you feeling for the rest of the season?

LLEYTON HEWITT: As I said, I was happy with my ball striking. My movement was good. Yeah, the quality of baseline points out there tonight felt pretty high for the most part.

Q. Are you a fan of extreme sports?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not that into it.

Q. Could you share something about one of the Chinese male players Wu Di who you played against in Davis Cup two years ago?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's a good little player. He hits the ball well. Yeah, obviously did well to win the Asian wild card playoff. I think it's just taking him a little bit of time. Because of his height, he's disadvantaged a little bit.
His ball striking is as good as a lot of other players in the top hundred.

Q. He told the Chinese media you're one of his favorite players because he's not as tall as some of the other players. Can you share some experience on how to be aggressive as a not too tall player on court?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think it's confidence for him. Like I said, his ball striking is very nice from the back of court. He moves extremely well for his height. He has to work on his serve a bit.
But all in all, he's a nice, compact player. I think it's just matches and belief against other players.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

Chances are, if you’ve watched Lleyton Hewitt play before, you’ve heard the Australian get himself going by shouting ‘C’mon!’ with a fist pump. It’s a trademark that goes hand-in-hand with his style of play and self belief, which still resonates today.

Hewitt battled back from two match points down to overcome Yen-Hsun Lu in three sets in his opener at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships in Memphis on Wednesday. ATPWorldTour.com sat down with the former World No. 1 to discuss his new clothing line, what would happen if he and wife, Bec, reversed careers and more…

Can you recall the last time you clawed back from such a deficit to win a match like you did today?

It’s hard to say. In the second round two years ago in Memphis, I was down two match points in the second set and ended up coming back. It doesn’t happen every day. I’ve also had some time out with injuries as well, so I haven’t had as many opportunities, but it’s always nice to come back and win those.

Your fighting spirit has always been a trademark and you showed that again today. Appropriately, you recently launched your own clothing line, based on your signature on-court reaction, ‘C’mon!’. Walk us through the process of having the concept to actually getting the tennis apparel produced and launched in January?

Something I grew up with was a ‘never say die’ attitude. I can’t tell you how many times in matches to get that extra ball back or to try and hang in there, believing in myself. It’s not something I just do in tennis. I want to get the best out of myself in life in general. Me saying ‘C’mon’ on the court is a trademark and everyone knows me for that. People in Australia align me with that word, so it was good to go in partnership with Tennis Australia and come out with a clothing line during the Australian summer. The biggest thing is to give kids an opportunity to wear tennis clothes that are affordable.

How much involvement do you have with the brand? Do you have an influence on the design and when collections are released?

At the end of the day, it all stops with me and through my management. I’m pretty hands on, so I wouldn’t put my name on it otherwise.

As the years go by, when you’re not able to travel with wife Bec and your three children, does it become more difficult to be on the road, or is it more manageable, knowing what you’re doing ultimately provides for a greater future for your family?

It’s definitely harder, there’s no doubt about it. I had them in San Jose last week but they are not here this week. It’s always tough during the weeks when they’re not around. But I’m still competitive enough to be out here playing. You’re not going to keep playing forever either. I love having them around. It makes life a lot easier for me.

What are the kids up to these days?

Mia and Ava are both more so like Bec, which is a good thing. Cruz is like me. He doesn’t leave my side too often. He’s my little buddy.

What is something tennis fans would be surprised to know about you?

I’m not sure. They probably know everything these days. I’ve done so many press conferences and interviews. Everyone knows my involvement with other sports in Australia that I enjoy. It’s not just AFL that I love. I like different kinds of Australian sports and I’m fortunate to hang out with other professional athletes, which is great for me.

Hypothetically, if you and Bec were to reverse careers, who would be more likely to succeed… an on-screen Lleyton or a tennis-playing Bec? And why?

Ha! (laughter). I’ve done one little stint on ‘Home and Away’ years ago, so it might be my advantage. She’s only played at a couple of tennis charity days. She’s not the best tennis player going around. But they’re both tough, that’s for sure.

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post #325 of 372 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 04:58 AM
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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

Lleyton's 1st round presser after win in Memphis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnOaf...n0ujOcwXW1I6Hw

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post #326 of 372 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 06:08 AM
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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

^^ thanks for the presser! Anyone got the one from istomins match?
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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference


March 9, 2013

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/J. Isner
6-7 6-3 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Always thin margins with someone like that. Just talk about the match.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, John obviously ‑‑ yeah, you get a few opportunities out there to break, and you have to stand up and take your chances when they come.
I felt like I had the more chances throughout the match. You know, first set could have gone either way, and then dug deep early in that second set to get up a break. That was a big momentum change then, to have that break up my sleeve.
Yeah, he was still dangerous, though, using his forehand a lot on my service games and trying to hit through the court. I was able to hang tough there and get the vital break and go up 4‑3 in that final set.

Q. How does a win like that feel to you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Great. Obviously, yeah, being a quality player and in tough conditions as well to return his serve. Doesn't really surprise me that he made the final here last year.
You know, with new balls and bouncing around everywhere, second serve is just as tough as his first most of the time. I really had to just hang in there and wait my turn and try and get as many balls back as possible.

Q. Isner said a few moments ago that he was nervous in the match.


Q. Yeah. Do you feel that he's a player that if you stick with him, with the big game he's got, if you can, you know, get it back at him, that maybe there will be that mental break?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. Only because, yeah, he gets through so many cheap service games so then he can have a lash at your service games sort of at free will.
So a lot of the times for the, you know, the not‑so‑big guy out there, it's a lot tougher to keep your concentration. He can probably have lapses in concentration while he's receiving, but, yeah, most of the time those big servers don't dip too much on their service games.

Q. He very rarely breaks. Why would that be? Not producing enough from the back court?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I thought he hit his forehand pretty well today; his backhand was definitely weaker. I don't know if ‑‑obviously a lot of those big guys, Karlovic, they all don't break that often.
They're going to play a lot of tiebreaks out there, and obviously movement is such a big part of it, as well. If you can get behind them and have them on the run as much as possible, it makes life tough for them.

Q. What about his return?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's not bad. Not bad. You know, for a big guy, you know, he tries to be aggressive on it, but he probably needs to be just to try to get first hit in the point.
Like I said, when he's holding serve so comfortably for so much in the match, then he can have a lash at a few and hopefully makes two or three in one game and gets an error and you can get the break.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about just the serves you have faced? Obviously a lot of big serves these days with Ivo and Raonic. Can you talk about those, and also how these big servers compete compared to someone like Pete?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, all three of those guys have got great serves. Yeah, the angles, especially the two extremely big guys ‑ Isner and Karlovic ‑ can get out wide on both sides. If they hit those well, it's impossible to get a racquet on it.
Yeah, their second serves are all tough, as well. You know, that's the tough part.
Yeah, Sampras, he hit his spots extremely well, especially on big points.
Roger has been the same. They're not the biggest servers, Roger and Sampras, but they hit their serves extremely well and their second serve is so reliable as well, especially under pressure.

Q. Have Novak and Andy both improved their serves?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, absolutely. That's one of the reasons why I think Novak ‑‑ I think when he started being more dominant his serve improved a lot and he got a lot more cheap points. I think both those guys are getting cheap points off their serve.

Q. Where does this rank in the last couple of years? Big win, stadium, in front of an American crowd; how does it stack up?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the last couple of years I haven't played that much, I guess. Missed this tournament through surgery last year. In the past I have always played pretty well here. Felt pretty comfortable.
Yeah, it's nice to beat a big name. Yeah, John's obviously a tough match for anyone to play, and especially coming off a good result here last year.

Q. There is a lot of soul searching in Australia about tennis. We might have a situation with no American men in the top 20 for the first time since the computer, so can you comment a little bit about that? Is that something you should be worried about or not?

LLEYTON HEWITT: The times have changed. There is a lot more countries playing now, so you can't compare generations as much. You know, back in the day when the rankings first started, you know, there was very few. It's like playing the Davis Cup as well. You know, to try and get in the World Group and keep your spot there is not an easy thing to do with just the amount of different countries playing.
Yeah, I don't know with the U.S. Obviously Australia we're trying to do as much as possible to get guys through. We had four guys obviously win in the first rounds here, which is nice. Doesn't happen every week for us.
But when you've had a rich tradition and the public expects success, yeah, then the tough thing‑‑ the pressure builds.

Q. Does it feel different for you? You played a Grand Slam final in NewYork against Sampras and won. You have played of over a decade in America. Do you feel different, the mood of American tennis playing in America now than it did when there were more top guys ten years ago?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. The mood doesn't feel any different. Obviously it's disappointing that you're losing tournaments in America, though. That's disappointing, because I have always enjoyed playing here.
There is no doubt that that has to do with the public, you know, expecting guys like‑‑ you know, you had Connors and McEnroe, and then Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Chang, and obviously Roddick held it up for so many years after that.
So when you don't have those guys and people maybe are not, you know, watching other sports instead of tennis in America‑ and at the moment the top four or five guys are all European, as well‑ that's not the best thing.

Q. Were you saying on TV because of your foot surgeries that you have had to adjust the way you run?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Everything had to change a little bit, yeah.

Q. Can you talk about that a little bit? Did you relearn something about movement?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I just took time. My whole mechanics are totally different in my foot, so it was just a matter of adjusting everything, really, and just get used to it as much as possible and then deal with it.

Q. Part of tennis is just walking out on the court and knowing that you're going to perform in front of thousands and thousands of people. Of all the different big stadiums you walk out on, what gives you the biggest charge, which stadium when you just walk out?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, Aussie Open and Wimbledon, those two.

Q. And the long walk at the Australian and Wimbledon, very low‑key without any announcements, just chair those two, then.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, they're both amazing courts to walk out onto. It's not something you think about a lot, though. I have done it so many times.
It's not something I dwell on, but it's something that excites you, you know, walking out to play any match on those two courts.

Q. How much does a win like this motivate you to continue on the road that you have been going on for the last a little bit?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's good just to know you're thereabouts. I feel like I have been hitting the ball pretty well in practice. Down in Australia I hit the ball well.
I drew a tough match in Tipsarevic first round there, and, yeah, it's just a matter of getting matches under my belt, as well.
And obviously for me the priority are the slams and Davis Cup. I try and pride myself on playing well in those matches, and, you know, the rest of it I try and prepare as well as possible for those tournaments.

Q. Can you put your commentator's hat on and tell us what you expect from Nadal tonight? First match on hard court.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think he'd be a bit anxious. Yeah, it's obviously totally different moving than what he's been playing on clay. I only saw points here and there, so I can't really comment on how he moved and everything on the clay swing.
There is no doubt when he lost Zeballos he wasn't moving anywhere near his best on the clay, but obviously to beat Ferrer a couple weeks later he must have been playing pretty well.
So he'd be a bit cautious tonight I'd think, but I think deep down he will be enjoying the challenge of getting back on the hard court and seeing how his body does respond.

Q. What is it about this event that you perform so well at? Does it seem like a decade ago that you won this title?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, probably doesn't seem like that long ago. The years go pretty quick now.
I'm not sure. I enjoy it. It's a pretty relaxed feel, the whole thing. Yeah, I can't really put my finger on it. You like going back to places where you have played well obviously and you have a positive outlook on it. That's probably the only common thing.

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Last edited by Ausie; 03-11-2013 at 07:39 AM.
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post #328 of 372 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

L. HEWITT/J. Sousa
6-1, 7-6

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about being back here and just what it means to be back at the Sony and be able to open up the way you did today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, it's always good to be back at tournaments where you've played well in the past, big tournaments, as well, that I have enjoyed playing at.
Yeah, when you're out injured and just had surgery and rehab, feels like a long way away to getting back out there and playing the big tournaments again.
Yeah, you probably enjoy it a little bit more when you're able to come back and bounce back from, yeah, injuries, to be back competing at these tournaments. You know, it's nice to be back out there on center court today, too.

Q. Can you comment on today's match? A couple of opportunities to close it out, and then he came up with some good stuff at those moments.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I never really had seen him play. I watched a little bit of footage of him at the Australian Open this year, but apart from that I didn't really know how he played.
He played way better every time he was behind in the match. Whenever he'd get back on serve in the second set he actually played worse; when he was behind he sort of just went for it a lot more. That was tough because he sort of had nothing to lose, I guess.
You know, the conditions with the wind as well playing up the end that you walk in, it was definitely, you know, into the breeze a lot more, so trying to close out that game at 6 5 wasn't easy.
And to my credit, though, I bounced back early in the tiebreak and got the advantage.

Q. Comment on the conditions. The conditions at Indian Wells compared to here are just so opposite. What do you prefer playing in?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Me, probably Indian Wells suits my game probably a little bit better, I'd say.
These are very heavy conditions here. Balls get a lot heavier quicker. Obviously the humidity as well makes it a heavier feeling out there; whereas the ball flies a lot more in Indian Wells.

Q. You touched on the topic of the injuries and everything you have had to endure. Have you thought about calling it quits, or is this still just a passion for you here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Obviously when you have surgeries the last surgery I had, you know, if I didn't have it done I would have had to retire anyway. People still thought I wouldn't be able to come back and play tennis anyway when I had the surgery.
Yeah, definitely goes to through your mind before any operation. Nothing is 100%. You know, I just did all the rehab and everything that, you know, I possibly could. And, you know, for me, if you miss it when you are doing rehab and getting back, then you obviously know your motivation is still there.
That's the toughest thing is coming back from the surgeries.

Q. You had a big win in Indian Wells knocking out a top 20 player in John Isner. What did it mean to get a huge win against a player on home soil and confidence coming here to Miami?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, it gives me confidence for the rest of the year, really. Isner on those courts and Indian Wells, he's not easy for anyone, as you saw last year him making the finals.
The way his serve bounces, you know, I felt my game matched up with him pretty well last week. I played a smart match, and then, yeah, I didn't play terrible against with Wawrinka. He was just too good on the night.

Q. On the line of the surgery and somebody suggesting you wouldn't be able to come back and couldn't, how much of your return was to prove others wrong but also to prove to yourself that you still had it very much in you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's not so much to prove others wrong. You know, I tried to get the best advice possible.
The thing was the surgery that I had, there is really no other athletes that have had it done and then tried to come back and play. Normally it's someone probably 60, 70 years old that's had it done.
That was the tough thing, trying to find no one could give me 100% guarantee it was going to work and that I'd be able to come back playing. If you look at the dynamics of it, yeah, a lot of the surgeons are probably right. Technically I probably shouldn't be able to keep running around the court.
Yeah, I have always been one to obviously try 100% and do things out there and do it the hard way, and, yeah, probably made me a little bit more determined.

Q. And what about Simon in the next round?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I have never beaten him. He's a different player. He obviously plays with a bit of finesse out there; moves the ball around extremely well. Obviously his movement is a big part of his game, as well. He can pull the trigger when he wants to on his first serve, but also on the baseline.
So, yeah, I lost to him here a few years ago pretty comfortably, so I look forward to it.

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post #329 of 372 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

June 10, 2013

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/M. Russell
4‑6, 6‑1, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had to work for that one, didn't you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes. It's always tough the first one obviously on grass. I felt I could see the ball really well in practice going into it, but the courts are a little bit different as well out there at the moment. It's a bit slippery on the foot and don't probably have quite 100% in your footing.
But also, yeah, I just didn't feel like I was serving great.

Nothing was sort of I didn't have too much rhythm at the start, and the ball was propping a little bit out there, as well, because it hasn't had a lot of play on it. It suited his style of play.
He's the kind of guy you've got to go out there and beat him. He's not going to give you too much. In the end I found my rhythm a little bit better.

Q. Would you have preferred to play the doubles match before that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think you always do just to get a feel of serve and return on grass and stuff. Now that I got through it, it's fine.
Yeah, whatever. No big deal.

Q. Why are you still doing this? You have money in the bank, a young family you probably prefer to be home with. Why are you doing it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I still enjoy the big tournaments, obviously Wimbledon, Australian Open, two of my favorite tournaments.
The Grand Slams and Davis Cup are still what I play for.

Q. How important is the second game of the second set that went forever and ever?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was a big game. I still wasn't timing the ball that well at that stage, and I was able just to, you know, find my rhythm a little bit more as the game went on.
Yeah, I didn't serve well to get out of the game but sort of just kept fighting hard and hanging in there. In the end that was obviously a pretty big turning point.

Q. You come here, and obviously you've won it four times. Is it still a special place for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. It's one of my favorite events. I have always enjoyed getting off the clay anyway and onto the grass. I have had such a good record here, as well. Yeah, most times it's taken pretty good players to beat me here.

Q. Following onto the question why you're continuing to play, what are your ambitions as far as Wimbledon is concerned?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. See what happens with the draw and just take it one match at a time.
I still believe in my ball striking and obviously my movement out there, and, yeah, wait and see what happens.

Q. How much longer do you think you can keep going?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I'm not going to keep answering that every day.

Q. Do you keep getting asked it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Pretty much.

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Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

June 12, 2013

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/G. Dimitrov
6‑4, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A bit like night and day from the other day to today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, all the years I have been coming here, a lot of the times the first match is always tough. The courts are a little bit more worn in now, which is nice. I just found my moving was so much better today.
I felt a lot sharper. Return of serves, just about everything I did better today.

Q. Considering your history on grass, the fact that you have won this tournament on a number of occasions, and you look at Dimitrov being seeded at 10 over here, would you classify this as an upset?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. You can judge it. I guess on results this year, probably.
Yeah, I don't know. In terms of grass court, he's had some pretty good matches at Wimbledon. I saw him play Tsonga last year, year before, a great standard match.
So he can play on grass. I've seen him push the best guys out here in the last couple years as well. He's a shot maker, but I kept enough balls in play today. I thought I played a really smart match. But if he's on, he's always going to be tough to beat because he can hit winners from anywhere on the court and he can serve big as well.

Q. How much confidence do you take out of this going forward? Do you have a bit of momentum going?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's going to help me immensely. I feel like in practice I have been hitting the ball great. It was just a matter of doing it on the match court.
My first match here wasn't pretty, but I fought hard and got through it. That's what I needed to do. Then today it was a classy performance.

Q. What about Sam next match for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, another guy I've got to get that extra ball back, I guess. I've got to be sharp right from the start. He's obviously got a big game, big serve, big forehand.
He's gotten better and better each year on grass, I think, as well. He was lucky to get through yesterday though, but tough conditions on and off yesterday.
But, you know, I'm going to have to play well to win.

Q. You're playing doubles here with Bernie. Are you surprised how well he seems to roll through things, despite everything else going on around him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I haven't really spoken to him, so I don't really know. You know, I have messaged him a lot. Obviously playing doubles here, but I haven't really seen him, to tell you the truth, so mentally I don't really know where his head is at.
He takes everything, as I said before, in his stride pretty well the whole time anyway. I think to him this is, you know, no different, I guess, in some ways.

Q. Your victory today is a breath of fresh air back home in Australia, and encouraging some good news, because on the cricket side there is some bad news. I was just wondering ‑‑ I don't know whether you're up to speed about David Warner, whether the whole image of Australia being over here in England, what you think that perception is.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know about Warner, but, yeah, I don't know. It's obviously leading into the Ashes, so, yeah, everyone's mind is hard. They're obviously playing a one‑day tournament at the moment, which is pretty big, but in the back of England and Australia's mind is the Ashes and wanting to perform well in that. It's two totally different competitions.
That's a tough thing. I wouldn't write our boys off. If Michael Clarke gets right‑‑ you know, so far he hasn't played well. I know Michael pretty well, and he will be looking forward to it.

Q. The other day you were saying how pleased you were to get off the clay and get back onto the grass. When you're transitioning between the clay and the grass, what is the bigger issue: the mental aspect of it, of going from one surface, two extremes of surfaces, or is it the footwork?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think for everyone it's different. Both is as big as one another. If you go in with the wrong mindset, then it doesn't matter how your footwork is, I guess.
If you're positive about playing on grass, then, you know, obviously the footwork is such a big thing, because even though a couple of our boys have been sliding on the grass, normally you have to be a lot sharper on your feet instead of sliding through the shot like you do on clay.

Q. How are you feeling with the doubles coming up?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I feel fine. It was good not to have to play three sets today. I'm all good.

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