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post #89 of (permalink) Old 03-29-2004, 04:37 AM
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Re: Nasdaq-100 Open 2004

A. PAVEL/L. Hewitt
6-4, 7-5

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was it a matter of you today, or was Andrei playing too well? His backhand looked just beautiful today.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he played well. Yeah, I didn't quite take my opportunities when they came and, you know, didn't -- I served well in patches. Served a lot of double-faults.

You know, I just felt like I had opportunities early in the first set and wasn't able to capitalize on them. And then the same in the second set.

You know, then put myself in the situation of trying to claw my way back out of the second set. Wasn't able to quite do that.

But he definitely played well, though.

Q. Have you ever let a game get away like that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I let a few get away today.

Q. You did. But that last game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, no, I gave him a few chances and, you know, it definitely should have gone to a tiebreak.

Yeah, there's not a lot you can do about it now, but...

Q. What do you feel you need to do?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I just made a couple of, yeah, unforced errors on love-15, 15-30 points on his service games halfway through the first set, where I felt like I really had an opportunity to crack the match wide open.

He's the kind of guy who plays a lot better when he's a frontrunner, I feel, when he's got his head up and he's hitting the ball well. He's a sweet hitter of the ball as well. So his whole game got better and better, and it got tougher for me to get myself into the match from then on.

I just didn't quite take my opportunities when I had, you know, love-30, 15-30, 30-all points.

Q. Were most of those opportunities squandered at the net?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, couple of times. There's a couple of long points where I came to the net and ended up, you know, missing , you know, not that easy volleys. He hit the ball pretty well. It's hard to volley sometimes in the wind as well when the ball's dipping like that. They're definitely makeable volleys, yeah. I think a couple of times I tried to do a little bit too much with him instead of just making him play a pass.

Q. What's special about his backhand?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I guess it's a very free shot, very free-flowing shot out there. He's able to hit, you know, down the line, cross court, he hits angles very well and he can attack off it as well.

Q. What's up for you now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not sure (smiling). Don't know yet.

Q. Shopping with Kim?


Q. You guys won the Davis Cup and then within months the process starts all over again, not much time to savor it. Would you like to see a situation where it's like the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup in golf where it's every other year as opposed to every year? What are your feelings on that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, I've spoken about it a lot. I feel that, you know, there should either be a bye for the first -- for the two finalist countries, make it a four-team World Group, or they should be every second year.

That's my feeling. I know there's a few people out there, and I think, you know -- I don't think it's great for the game that Australia obviously bombed out in the first round this year after winning it. Spain was very close to bombing out and they had their B or C team in. They didn't have Moya or Ferrero who played in the final, purely because Ferrero had played that much tennis. Was ridiculous.

I don't think that's good for the game. I don't think that's good for Davis Cup. If you want the best players playing every tie, then you've got to work out a situation that's going to benefit the players.

Q. Is Adam Scott a mate of yours? What do you think of him going into the final round of the TPC with a chance to win that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I met Adam at the Australian PGA in December last year. He's a great kid. He's a very likable kid. Yeah, he is a helluva player.

I've been watching a little bit, and I've got no doubt - I don't know what it is now - but if he plays the way he did yesterday, then he's going to be in pretty good stead. It's going to take a pretty good player to beat him.

Q. You started off the year very strong and you're in a bit of a rut the last few weeks. What do you think is going on with your game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I feel like I'm hitting the ball okay the last couple of weeks . My first rounds both weeks, I played well. Against Chela last week, I thought he played extremely well, just as well as I've seen him play.

Still, I had a lot of love-40, love-30 games and I wasn't able to capitalize. Little bit the same today.

So when you look back on it, you know, you got to take your opportunities when they come. It's disappointing, but I don't think I'm hitting the ball that badly.

Q. Do you think you're playing too conservatively, not taking enough risks at times?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Maybe at times, but then a couple of times I went for it off his second serve and made a mistake, so...

Yeah, you could look at it both ways.

Q. Who do you think has the best second serve in the men's game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. There's a lot of tough ones, I guess. Roddick's probably going to be up there. He gets obviously a lot of kick on it. He can hit it hard as well.

Federer's got a great second serve as well. There's a lot of guys out there that, you know, I think they have pretty good second serves.

Q. When you say you don't know what's up, have you planned your European schedule?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, no. I was more, you know, seeing how I was feeling and just playing it by ear.

Yeah, depending if I go back to Australia or go straight over to Europe as well.

Q. You don't have to play Davis Cup until September?


Q. Are you feeling all right, though, for the most part? You're not capitalizing on the moments, but you're feeling fine?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, pretty good. Yeah, you know, I've been, yeah, feeling pretty good in practice and feeling pretty good about my game most days, I think, so...

Yeah, it's a little bit disappointing, but, you know, I won't worry about it too much.

Q. Still a couple months away to the clay court season. Who do you like going into Roland Garros?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, obviously the three guys that probably stand out are Ferrero, Coria and Moya, going on last year's form.

But, you know, Coria sort of popped up last year without anyone really knowing I guess.

Federer is going to be tough to beat on that surface as well.

There's always going to be Nalbandian, Gaudio, you know.

There's a lot of good clay court players around so...You know, not going to be too many easy matches.

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A. PAVEL/L. Hewitt
6-4, 7-5

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk about that win today. Obviously your backhand looks as good as ever.

ANDREI PAVEL: Yeah, it worked pretty good. I thought I moved pretty well and I think he didn't play very sharp.

And, actually, he didn't play a lot of very -- he played the same thing almost all the time, Lleyton, in the first set, and also in the second set. I adjust pretty good today to his game.

You know, I got a little bit nervous serving for the match, played two double-faults, and also he didn't serve so well. He played also a lot of double-faults.

But, you know, you have to run a lot to beat Hewitt. You have to make the shots. He won't give you a lot of presents. So backhand was pretty good, yeah.

Q. Also you attacked the net seemingly at the right time. Is that a game plan for you, come in off your backhand?

ANDREI PAVEL: Yes, I mean, that's -- I have to use my backhand as much as I can. I think I saved few breakpoints coming in to the net with my backhand and also make some good passing shots.

You know, much more than that, I don't know (smiling).

Q. It's been your luck, if you will, to run into Roger Federer at these tournaments. Can you just talk about four of your six losses this year have been against him.

ANDREI PAVEL: Yeah, I started -- it started the Davis Cup, you know. I catch him right after Australia, winning Australian Open. You know, was a tight match there.

And, you know, going then after to Rotterdam. Then I had chances to win the first set. Had breakpoints at 5-all, missed it, then was 7-6, 7-5, a tight match in Rotterdam like two weeks after.

You know, I didn't -- I had not even a week off, then we play in Dubai again each other. There he was playing, he played really unbelievable. I was playing good, too, but, you know, he's on top of his game. Right now, he seems pretty unbeatable.

You know, then you get kind of -- next time I play him in Indian Wells, and I got -- I think I lost it from my head in Indian Wells. I mean, I was playing good there, too, and I had the first breakpoints. I was up 2-1, breakpoints to go, 3-1. I had an easy forehand, missed it. Somehow I blocked from that moment. I go, "Not again," you know....

So if you say that against the No. 1, then you already lost somehow.

I hope he's getting tired, you know, of winning (smiling). He lost only one match to Henman. Maybe he's gonna get tired to win another two matches this week. I mean, I'm not tired to win, so...

But, no, I don't want to wish him that. I just -- I think if I make it to the quarterfinal and I gonna play Roger again, you know, I guess, I hope -- I hope I'm not gonna be nervous or I hope I can keep my mind straight. I have to win another match, so I gonna have few matches under my belt in this tournament. I hope I gonna play relaxed and, you know, maybe this time.

But is not easy to play a guy that is always on top -- he's the No. 1 and he only lost a match. He beat everybody. He basically lost few sets if you look at it also, so...

Q. How difficult was it to get over the backhand trouble?

ANDREI PAVEL: Well, is always difficult to get over injuries. Last year I had more than a half a year off and, you know, then you start to go -- I mean, I had the physiotherapist with me all the time. I'm not any more the younger, so I have to watch out.

Then I had the wrist injury as well. That's why it put me off for six months, actually - the wrist injury, not the back injury.

So I was lucky to come back, to make a fast comeback. After my first tournament, play the (inaudible). That give me a lot of confidence.

This year, it seems like a pretty solid year - fourth round, Australian Open. And losing four times to Federer means a lot, you know. It's not like I'm like losing to everybody.

So, you know, this year I played twice Mirnyi, four times Federer, so, you know, seems like I stick to a group there all the time.

Q. Are you sick of seeing his name on your side of the draw?

ANDREI PAVEL: I get a lot of shit, I'm telling you that, from all the players. They always go, "Oh, okay, all right... This week," so...

But, you know, what can I do?

Q. Have you said anything meant to be funny to Roger when you pass him in the hallway?

ANDREI PAVEL: Of course. I always go like...(gesturing).

But, you know, I think -- you cannot write that (smiling).

Q. What does he say?

ANDREI PAVEL: He's a very cool guy. He's pretty, you know -- he laughs. I mean, I will do the same thing, I guess, you know.

Q. Do you think after having had so long out kind of keeping your sense of humor, a sense of perspective, is important in playing this sport? You have to try and keep...

ANDREI PAVEL: Yeah, of course. I think -- I enjoy the most tennis right now than when I was like 22. I was like, you know, now I'm more relaxed, you know. I can handle much better the traveling, the missing family. Right now, having the family with me is not easy as you think, you know, staying with two kids. Like last night, I woke up at 4 o'clock, I had to change beds, you know.

But, you know, you take the best of it, you know. Sometimes when you have family, you have the family with you, you have to see the positive, the good side on that. And when you are away, again, somehow you have to, you know ...

Is good when you win, always. Everything seems beautiful. When you lose, then you try to figure out a way to still feel good, so...

Q. Why did you have to change beds?

ANDREI PAVEL: Well, my son start crying, you know. So he woke up at 4 o'clock in the morning and wanted to play. I guess he played with the mom, you know. I went to another bed and sleep, so...

Q. Another room?

ANDREI PAVEL: Yeah. We, you know, that's why it's pretty expensive when you go with like wife, two kids, a coach, you know. It's like having a huge apartment. Especially in Miami, is not very cheap, you know.

But that's the price. It's good to win, you know, then it's not that expensive anymore.

Q. You should get the coach to go and play with the kids, pay him to do that, get him to be a nanny.

ANDREI PAVEL: Imagine bringing a nanny as well.

Q. How old are your kids?

ANDREI PAVEL: My daughter, she's gonna be five in July. My son is gonna be two in June, so...

My wife, you don't want to know about (laughing).

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