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Old 07-03-2012, 02:59 PM   #286
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Default Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

January 19, 2010, R128

Lleyton Hewitt

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

L. HEWITT/R. Hocevar
6-1, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. Fair bit to be happy with that one.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's always tough first round of any slam. Yeah, probably a little bit more so because I had no idea really how he played either. So, yeah, did all the homework we could do before the match. Until you actually get out there, you never really know.
So, yeah, he's a grinder. He was gonna hit a lot of balls back, and he served better than I thought he would. But I returned really well, especially at the start.

Q. Conditions a little tricky out there?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was tough. It was pretty cold, so it was really heavy conditions. It got heavier as the match went on. The balls were fluffing out quite a bit purely because of the conditions. I think they weren't flying that much, so it was actually hard to generate a lot of pace out there as well tonight.

Q. For the night session, you happy to play earlier?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, if you get through, it gives you a little bit you get to bed and do all the rehab and physio and treatment and all that stuff a little bit earlier.
But, yeah, I didn't have any say. It was whenever I was gonna be on, so...

Q. You seemed to hit the ball really cleanly in Perth and tonight. Can you compare it with any other point that you've hit the ball this well consistently?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Um, yeah. I've been hitting the ball pretty well, you know. Throughout last year and at Wimbledon I hit the ball extremely well and made a good run there. I had to knock off Del Potro, and a month later he wins the US Open.
So, yeah, my ball-striking has been pretty good. Ever since I came back from hip surgery, it's more the confidence in moving and getting into the right position to do it.
Yeah, obviously you're gonna be a step up every round, though. You're gonna play more quality opponents, and you still gotta be able to strike the ball and get in position a lot better than against a guy like tonight.

Q. You feel like you're hitting it as well as you ever have?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I'm hitting the ball all right at the moment, so just keep it going.

Q. You said after the match you always aspired to win this tournament. Does it still have a real burn for you after getting so close a few years ago?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. I would love to win it. It's never gonna be easy. Obviously it's a tough tournament to win. Any Grand Slam is tough. You need a little bit of luck. You gotta play well in the right matches.
Yeah, we'll see what happens.

Q. Obviously always had a fair bit of expectation on you, too. Are you ready for that to start growing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm used to it by now. Doesn't worry me too much. I played enough big matches in Davis Cup, and I've sort of had that thrown on me at a young age. Playing Davis Cup for Australia, there's a lot of expectation.
Yeah, that was instilled in me at a young age by Newc and Rochey and those guys. I had to learn to deal with it.

Q. Do you like it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It doesn't fuss me.

Q. Being ranked 22 at the moment and playing the way you are, you have a look at those guys underneath you working down to No. 1. Do you see some names there that you think, Well, you know, we can knock over a few of those and see where you're gonna end up in the not too distant future?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, there's a lot guys that are ahead of me on ranking that I think I can take care of. But, um, a lot depends on the how many tournaments you play and your priorities as well. My priority is not a whole heap based on rankings anymore. My priority is mainly on getting my body ready and mentally and physically being as ready as possible for the four majors.
That's what I pride myself on. Obviously wanted to come into this tournament this year seeded, though. Purely -- it's a lot tougher if you're not seeded, like last year coming off hip surgery and drawing a guy like González.
So, yeah, I did all the right things to do that this year. Yeah, if you play well in the slams and the big tournaments, your ranking is gonna take care of itself anyway.

Q. Is that the next aim, to get back inside that top 16, that next level?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's not something I've really thought about too much. Where I am at the moment, I was never gonna meet the 1 to 8 guys anyway in the third round. That was always gonna be in the round of 16 anyway, which is the same as if you were 9 to 16 in the seedings.
So, yeah, from 9 to 16, 17 to 24, that's not a huge difference.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about how much you have to recover from these games these days in contrast to previous years?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I've always been one to, yeah, try and do all the rehab and get the right treatment and everything. Not cut corners anyway, you know, any time in my career.
But you probably do it a little bit more nowadays, especially after having a surgery and stuff like that, just to stay on top of things a little bit more. You probably take it for granted a little bit when you're 18, 19, you know, to probably 22, 23. So, yeah, probably trying to take care of your body a little bit better.

Q. Where is the cap this year, the baseball cap? Is that something new this year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I won Wimbledon without it.

Q. But it's been constant for a long time. Is it just a constant thing that you've chucked it away this year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Um, yeah, I don't know. Probably couldn't find one in my bag, so...

Q. What about the next opponent. I haven't seen the score, but Donald Young, how do you match up with him and potentially Rochus?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, both slightly different players, depending on who I play. Played both of them last year. Played Rochus indoors in Memphis in the quarterfinals there, and played pretty well.
Knocked him off comfortably. But, yeah, he's always gonna bring his A game pretty much every time, and you pretty much know what to expect with him. He's a good competitor and he doesn't give you any cheap points. You've gotta go out there and beat him. He won't beat himself.
Donald Young is probably a lot more naturally talented and he's definitely a lot more of a shot-maker and probably likes the big occasion a little bit more. I played him in Washington. He's a bit of an up-and-down player. As I said, he can hit a lot winners, but he can make some unforced errors as well.
There's been big tickets on Donald for, yeah, quite a number of years now. Yeah, by him qualifying and starting to make it through into some of these Grand Slams, he's obviously starting to fulfill that potential.

Q. Just to get your thoughts on the current state of Australian tennis at the moment, obviously there's some talent coming through. You've made some comments in the past about the leadership of the game and the direction it's going. Do you see any progress or development since you last commented on that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I don't know enough since I last commented, so there's no point really going into it right at the moment.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:04 PM   #287
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Default Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

January 21, 2010, R64

Lleyton Hewitt

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

L. HEWITT/D. Young
7-6, 6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. Great to see you have a straight-sets win. Playing someone you don't play that often, he probably surprised you a bit in the first set. What turned it around for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just tried to be a lot more solid, especially towards the end of the second set. I felt like I got out of the blocks well. He started serving a lot better and then, yeah, he mixed up his game very well.
He's very flashy with his forehand. He can generate pace from anywhere on the court. Yeah, when he's actually got time to run onto the ball, because he is so quick, he actually comes up with some pretty good shots.
So he was returning well, and I wasn't serving as well as I would have liked early on. My serve got better as the match went on, and that definitely put me in a better position to be a little bit more aggressive on his service games.

Q. When would you prefer to play on Saturday?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Doesn't worry me. At this stage I haven't thought about it. I'm gathering that it'll be Saturday night. I assume. I don't know. Whatever. It doesn't worry me, day or night.

Q. Will you request the early match on Saturday night?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably not. No. Whatever. I would be surprised if they I'm not sure why they're going some men and women different nights. I have no idea what the deal is with that.
I would assume at this stage they'd probably put us at 7:00. I'm not sure.

Q. Is that last one with Marcos two years ago still the most memorable of your career?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. I think just the whole -- it was sort of epic in the locker room before we went on the court as well. We both warmed up and kept getting told we were gonna be the next match on.
Once the night session started, they were gonna be moving the women's. That all got canceled, and then we're sitting in a situation where the women ended up going three sets and we weren't gonna be playing that night.
It was just a weird situation for both of us to be in. Then to go five sets like it did, it just added to the drama.

Q. Tomic was pretty critical about the scheduling of his match last night and the fact that it went too late. Just wondering, as someone who has finished a match after 4:00 a.m. Does he have a case?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, as I said, I don't know why they're putting some mens matches first and some after the women's. I have no idea. We've all been prepared, I guess, if we do go five sets, nine times out of ten I've always been the second match after the women's.
There's only been a couple occasions in my career that I've played in the last couple of years that I've played a 7:00 or 7:30 match. You always know if you go five sets it's gonna be a long night. That's just how it is.

Q. Should he expect any sort of leniency? He said because he was young, it was hard for him that late. Is that just part of the learning experience?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think it's part of learning. I don't know whether he requested night or day or what he did. If you get scheduled at night, yeah, that's what's gonna happen. You gotta be prepared for that to happen.

Q. Would you be surprised that a 17 year old would be complaining about playing a night match on Rod Laver?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. He seems like the kind of kid that would enjoy it. To play in a big atmosphere. I think he handles that pretty well. I think deep down he would have enjoyed playing a big match.

Q. Was today's match ideal for the Baghdatis confrontation?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, it's ideal in the fact that I got through in straight sets.

Q. But he ran around a lot.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. It's a big difference. One is left-handed and the other is right-handed. I'm gonna have to come to terms with that.
I played Marcos last week and I know what to expect. He's in good form and hitting the ball extremely clean. He's gonna be feeling confident after winning last week. Knocking off David Ferrer in five sets isn't easy either.

Q. Are you enjoying this growing rivalry with Baghdatis?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, we've only played three times. (Laughing.) It's not quite like the Nadal-Federer just yet. Yeah, for some reason some guys you play more at Grand Slams than you do on tour events. Marcos and I have been one of those matches, I guess.

Q. When you played with Marcos the other day, was he any different than the last time you played him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really different, I would say. He's always played well in Australia. You look back to the year he made a good run and made the final here and surprised everyone. The year beat him and played well. This year in Sydney he played well as well.
Obviously last year was tough for him in patches, just because -- I don't know if he had surgery or not. But, yeah, he definitely had a couple injuries and that set him back quite a bit. He went back to the challengers, and you gotta take your hat off to that. He's a class player, and he's a lot better than a challenger player. For him to be able to do that is a great effort.

Q. His match went nearly four hours today. Do you see that as a good advantage for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, can't be bad that I got through in straight. Yeah, at the end of the day, I know that I've done the work. I know that come Saturday I'll be as fresh as I can be.
Won both my matches in straight sets so far so...
So, yeah, haven't put a foot wrong.

Q. How do you feel?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I feel fine.

Q. Were you surprised that Cilic was taken to five sets last night?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't see any of the match. It's hard to explain. Cilic is, yeah, a very good player. I think a little bit when he's expected to win he doesn't quite play as well as you know, when he had to play a guy like Murray and that at the US Open, Murray and Del Potro, he had very little pressure on him.
Yeah, still, for Bernard to go out there and take -- Cilic is a quality player. Absolutely.

Q. Do you think he's moving closer to Davis Cup contention?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the comment I always said was, yeah, anyone ranked 300 in the world can't doesn't matter if it's Klein or Matosevic or whoever it is, they can't expect to be playing Davis Cup. It's not gonna be their call. It's gonna be Fitzy and Woodbridge's call and the selectors to who they put in.
You have no right to say that you'll be playing Davis Cup in that situation. So, yeah, he's obviously around the mark. Personally, I feel it was a pretty good tournament for the Australians in the fact that Luczak, I saw a little bit of his match against Nadal, and he hit the ball as well as he's ever played, which gave me great confidence.
And then I saw a little bit of Carsten Ball the other day against Verdasco as well. In terms of Davis Cup, I'm a little happier with the players coming through.

Q. Did you watch any of Marcos' match today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit on the TV. Not enough.

Q. What are hoping for in terms of fan support against Baghdatis?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, it's Australia, so I look forward to a lot of support.

Q. Do you think it'll be quite even out there? I mean, he's got quite a big fan club here.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I always get support on center court. Don't think it'll be any different.

Q. Was it good to beat someone a lot younger than you today and someone that scrambles around and has big tickets around the world?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it wasn't something I thought about his age going into the match. It was more, yeah, it was good that I played him in Washington a few months ago towards the end of last year.
Yeah, he plays a little bit different and he's flashy and rides a bit of a wave for a few games, and then throws in a couple of suck games out of nowhere. So it's good to know where he's at. He's a lot better playing than his ranking is right at the moment.
He obviously struggled with the expectation of being the next great hope for America for a while. He's been 70 odd in the world, and won't be long before he's back there?

Q. Do you think the powers that be in Australia can learn from how the Americans treated Donald Young early in his career giving him so many wild cards, and that possibly put his career back a year or two?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes and no. You gotta have other people to give 'em to, and maybe they didn't have other people to give 'em to. That's why he got 'em. Yeah, maybe he was performing -- yeah, he obviously struggled and got some rough draws there, too.
Some of guys I saw him play, Henman and there was a few other guys that he got a wildcard in Masters Series events, and even US Open I think James Blake. There was a few guys that he's had tough draws against.
Yeah, everyone is a little bit different, I think.

Q. Do you feel your game suits Marcos'?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think I can I think there are certain areas I can mix up pretty well against him. He's obviously a great ball-striker, very clean off both sides of. Yeah, when she's serving well his whole game sort of comes together a bit more. Obviously I'm gonna have to serve well against him. Yeah, that's gonna be a big key.

Q. What do you do to get psyched up before matches? Are you still watching Rocky movies, or is there a new form of inspiration?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not watching movies anymore. For me, it's more I just like hanging around with my team and obviously in the locker room and, yeah, going through the warm up and the preparation that I need to be ready to go out there. I listen to a bit of music, and that's about it.

Q. Kim Clijsters is called Aussie Kim since her relationship with you. What do you think about her comeback?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, her comeback is unbelievable. Yeah, it's not easy to take any time off tennis these days. I just know from hip surgery to come back and then try and, yeah, to pick up where you left off isn't easy. So, yeah, for her to come back and third tournament back win a Grand Slams is incredible.
Yeah, in terms of I think Kim and Justine, yeah, they're still a class above 95% of the women players out there anyway. It was never gonna take those two long to come back and get competitive at the big tournaments.

Q. What music do you listen to before a match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Whatever. Always changes.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:08 PM   #288
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AUSTRALIAN OPEN

January 23, 2010, R32

Lleyton Hewitt

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

L. HEWITT/M. Baghdatis
6-0, 4-2 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. When were you aware that Marcos was in trouble?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Towards the end of the first set he started to try to shake his arm out a little bit. Yeah, he dumped a couple of forehands, hit some rally balls into the net. He was obviously shaking his arm, and then he called the trainer.
For me, I had to try and stay in the moment as much as possible. Felt like I was hitting the ball well and extremely clean. I wasn't -- my frame of mind out there wasn't gonna change at all.

Q. Is this the ideal lead-up for a match against Roger Federer?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, in terms of my ball-striking, absolutely. I took it up another notch tonight, which was great. I hit the ball as well as I have hit it in a long time. It's not gonna be easy against Rog. It's not going to be easy. I'll be ready come Monday.

Q. What do you do in your preparation now to compensate for the fact that you didn't have a big workout tonight?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Nothing different. No. Um, yeah, it's just a blessing that I didn't finish really late and, yeah, have to bounce back from a tough five-set match, because it's hard enough playing him when you're fresh.
I'll do all the same preparation that I've been doing. Everything is going according to plan so far.

Q. So you would rather have a shorter match than a longer match leading up to playing someone like Roger?

LLEYTON HEWITT: For me, it doesn't matter. I couldn't have got any more out of tonight's match than what I got anyway. My ball-striking, as I said, I didn't put a foot wrong. I served great. I moved great. I hit the ball fantastic. I did all the right things on my side of the court.
You know, I took care of my service games extremely well and was confident and put a lot of pressure on him. In terms of that, me going out and hitting more balls or playing out there a few hours longer, I was only gonna obviously make a few more mistakes and get negative on yourself. There's no point in doing that.

Q. Is there a slightly different letdown process that you've built yourself up to a game and obviously it didn't go the way you expected it to?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. As I said, I was extremely happy with everything that I did tonight. Yeah, it's like Danny Green when he's boxing. He expected to go 12 rounds and he didn't even last a round. You take it when you can get it.

Q. Could you hope to be in better form coming into a match against Roger?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Um, I felt like I stepped it up every match. Obviously the opponents have got tougher every match. Tonight was always gonna be a step up in class. Even though it didn't obviously pan out the way it was supposed to, I guess, Marcos -- you got to be extremely wary of him.
In the second set, I felt like the only points I was really pressured on was when he was hitting the line on his first serve. Apart from that, I was all over his second serve and putting a lot of pressure on him.
Yeah, I moved the ball around extremely well. I made him -- yeah, he didn't hit one winner, I don't think, in the first set.
Yeah, even if he's a little bit injured, against a guy like Marcos, it's not an easy thing to do.

Q. Fitness-wise, is this the best you've been going into an Open campaign for while?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was only really last year that I wasn't -- yeah, there were a few question marks. I had done all the hard work, but it was just whether the hip was gonna hold up. I hadn't played any matches. A lot of the other years I've been pretty fit coming in. Same as this year.

Q. You lost the last 14 matches against Roger Federer. How can you beat him Monday? What will be the key?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Win three sets before he does. That's what I'll be trying to do.

Q. Do you feel very different coming into this match than you did in New York in September?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Um, not a lot. Not a lot different, really. Um, yeah, I hit the ball pretty well going into the match against him in New York as well.
I made a quarter and obviously lost to Roger in straight sets in Cincinnati a week or so before the US Open. Obviously unlucky to draw him in the third round at the US Open.
By my first two rounds there I played faultless tennis as well. Went through both those matches extremely comfortable and hitting the ball great going into the match with Roger.
Yeah, my knee was probably a little bit not in such good shape going into that match, which I'm a lot more confident on now. So, yeah, that was probably a little bit more worrying.
With that said, I was still able to take the first set off him and push him towards the end of the third set, which could have gone either way. Obviously he ran away it in the fourth. Yeah, I had some chances.

Q. Are you expecting to play Monday night if you get a choice?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Mate, I haven't really thought about it yet. Haven't thought about Roger yet. I haven't thought about when they'll put us.

Q. When does that start to happen, the thinking about Roger?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably tomorrow.

Q. So you just enjoy tonight?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, just do all the right things: rehab and get some food and doing everything that I've been doing for the last three months.

Q. You have run into Roger more often I think than any of the other active players on the tour at the moment. Do you view this as one of your greater opportunity to get one back, given his record at the Masters and Doha, that he hasn't been in as good a form?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, he doesn't lose too many matches, especially big matches, and especially Grand Slams. You just got to look at his record last year in Grand Slams.
Yeah, it does take a great performance to beat him. That's why he's been the greatest player possibly ever, because he keeps putting himself in a position to keep winning Grand Slams.
Yeah, every time he does lose to anyone - there hasn't been many - it's pretty much been Rafa or obviously Del Potro in the final of the US Open. Yeah, last year those two guys were the only two guys that beat him in five sets at slams. So you're gonna have to be ready for a challenge.

Q. Obviously you wouldn't be playing if you didn't believe you could beat Roger. What is it that makes you continue believing you will eventually get over on him one day?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Um, well, I still think there's room for improvement in my game. Heals and I have been working on stuff. You're not gonna play your best tennis day in and day out.
You play for those moments, to play against the best players, Roger is that. This is what motivates you. If you can't get up for these matches, you shouldn't be playing the game.

Q. Having played him 20 or 21 times, is this the greatest rivalry you've had, maybe the most special rivalry you've had your career?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Um, yeah, we've played a lot of big matches. Obviously played the final of the US Open, we played a Davis Cup match here as well.
Nine times out of ten I've played him in most of the majors as well, apart from the French Open. So, yeah, a lot of them have been pretty big occasion matches.
Yeah, he's obviously, as I said, possibly the greatest player ever to play. So any time you get to play those guys, as I said, it's -- yeah, the motivation is there.

Q. Sharing the billing on Monday with Sam Stosur. Good to see Sam get through?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't see much of Sam's match today. We obviously played the Hopman Cup together. Good for her to get through. Obviously she was a little down on confidence coming in here for last couple of the matches to win in straight sets.
She's got nothing to lose going out there against Serena either. So, you know, for her, everything to gain and nothing to lose. The weight is off her shoulders now. She can go out there and enjoy it.

Q. Seems to have been kind of an injury-prone day for some of the other players. Marcos was one of three people that retired in matches. It's not hot out today. Are there some other conditions that you think might be contributing to it, or it's just the first big tournament of the season?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I can't really speak for the other injury Marcos, I'm sure it had something to do with his long match two days ago. So it had nothing to do with weather or conditions today.
From what I heard, Youzhny pulled out with a wrist, so didn't even start the match. That didn't have anything to do with him.
Koubek, I don't even know why he pulled out. It's got nothing to do with conditions right at the moment.
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AUSTRALIAN OPEN

January 25, 2010, R16

Lleyton Hewitt

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

R. FEDERER/L. Hewitt
6-2, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. How disappointing was that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's always disappointing when you lose in a Grand Slam. But he played special tennis though. Hit the ball extremely clean, and I just couldn't get into his service games, which made it tough.

Q. Do you get the feeling that he seems to lift his play against you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he hasn't played too many bad matches against me. Tonight was as good as, yeah, US Open final in 2004. He had patches where he played, you know, first and third sets he played incredible sets there. Especially in a bit blustier conditions, but, yeah, tonight he was able to keep it up pretty much the whole match.

Q. What do you think you have to do against Roger when he plays like that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm not sure right at the moment. If I knew, I would still be out there.

Q. Is it a case that you still feel you're driven to bridge the gap with him? Is that what drives you now still?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, what drives me is to I still think I can become a better player. That's more the motivation. But obviously he's the, yeah, sort of the limit at the moment. He's the No. 1 player in the world.
Yeah, everyone says it wasn't an absolutely great year for him and he still won two Grand Slams and lost in two finals in five sets in the other two. Yeah, he's obviously the benchmark.

Q. Did you feel like you had your A game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty clean out there. He hit his backhand normally it can go off slightly, and he hit it great tonight from start to finish.
Occasionally he gets some cheap points and he shanks a few balls here and there. Obviously the conditions were pretty nice out there tonight as well. There wasn't a lot of breeze, but he hit the ball extremely clean as well.
That was always tough because he was confident and moving extremely well. Felt like he was putting the ball on a dime every time.

Q. When you reflect back on this tournament, what will you think about?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, from my point of view I did everything right. I prepared exactly the way that I wanted to prepare for the Australian summer. Gave 100% every time again. I ran into the best player right at the moment I would say.

Q. The way you played the last few weeks, where does that put your mindset for the rest of the year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, obviously I've been able to work my ranking back up. I feel good about that. Don't have a lot of points to defend for -- really through to Wimbledon, the quarters there.
Yeah, I feel comfortable I can do some damage. The way I hit the ball tonight, I still think I could have taken a lot of other guys still left in the draw. That's probably a little bit more frustrating.

Q. You had some different strapping on your knee. How is the body holding up generally after the first Grand Slam of the year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's fine. I've played with knee strapping for a long time. About five, six months now. So, yeah, that's feeling as good as it's felt.

Q. Everything else okay?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I feel good.
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AUSTRALIAN OPEN

January 30, 2010

Lleyton Hewitt

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

THE MODERATOR: Before we start, Lleyton has a few words to say.


LLEYTON HEWITT: Thanks for all coming today. Obviously, a little bit frustrated to be having this press conference. But, you know, it needed to be done.
After I finished the Australian Open, two days ago I had to go in and have hip surgery on my right hip. It's been causing a few problems since the Hopman Cup at the start of the year. Wasn't an easy decision to make, but one that I felt was necessary right at the moment, so...
I'll take any questions.

Q. Is it the other hip?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's my right hip this time. Yeah, as I said, during my pre-season in November and December, I didn't have any worries. I did one movement at the Hopman Cup in practice the day before my first match, and I felt something straightaway. I knew it wasn't that good.
Yeah, right at that time I wasn't a hundred percent sure whether I was going to be able to play any of the Australian summer. At least I gave a hundred percent and tried to block it out as much as possible, was able to get through the summer.

Q. Is the rehabilitation going to be as bad as the previous operation?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It will be very similar, very similar.

Q. You still have the urge to play tennis?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely, otherwise I wouldn't have had the op straightaway. I could have waited a couple of weeks, see if it settled down a little bit better after straight playing a tournament.
At the end of the day, from the scans I had before the Australian Open, you know, speaking to the experts that I had around me, we pretty much knew that the decision was pretty much out of my hands right at the moment.
Obviously, what I play for these days are the Grand Slams. If I waited any longer to have anything done, it would have been very similar to 2008 where I sort of prolonged it because I didn't exactly know what was going on and ended up missing the US Open because of it.
For me having it done right now, I'll be back, ready for the French Open.

Q. What is the medical term for it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I had a tear in my labrum, which is around my hip joint. So I pretty much had torn that off the bone. I had a few issues with my ligament, as well, in there.
Yeah, it wasn't exactly the same as last time. This one was probably more just an unlucky movement that caused it I think at the time.

Q. Have they given you any time, how long the rehab might take?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, not a hundred percent 'cause you never really know until you sort of get back in the rehab.
Obviously, yeah, it's put me out of the first Davis Cup tie, quite a few of the tournaments, all the hard court tournaments throughout the States. Yeah, for me I'll be looking to get back on the clay at some stage before the French Open.

Q. How much pain were you in throughout the Australian Open?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I was in, yeah, a reasonable amount of pain. But, yeah, I've played with pain in the past. As I said, 2008, we didn't know the extent of the left hip, what the actual problem was. So I actually played throughout that year with quite a lot of pain anyway. I'm able to block it out as much as possible.
You know, during Sydney, it was not great against Baghdatis in the match in Sydney. That was pretty much why in the end I sort of had to fall away from that match and try and concentrate on the Australian Open.

Q. Is there something about the way you play that makes you more susceptible to hip injuries do they think?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think so. I think this one was probably a little bit more unlucky, whereas the last one, my bone in my hip at some stage was going to cut the labrum anyway, how the bone was, where this was more a little unlucky where I landed in a position that actually sort of tore it.
As I said, I did as much training in November and December, harder training than I'd ever done in a pre-season. The body couldn't have felt better. So it was a little bit frustrating going into the Hopman Cup.

Q. After this injury, any sort of thought of giving it away?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, the only thought I thought maybe if I retire now and come back in 12 weeks, you know, Kim and Justine do that, then come back and win slams. Could have been an omen for me (smiling).
You know, for me, that never went through my mind. I've worked too hard to come back. I feel like I'm hitting the ball as well as I've nearly ever hit it. How I was feeling, the bloke I lost to the start of this week, he's as good as you get right at the moment. I don't feel like I'm that far away, my ball striking, from doing some damage in the Grand Slams.

Q. Where did you have the surgery done and where will you do the immediate sort of rehab?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I had surgery in Hobart, the same as last time. Rehab, not sure yet. Got to speak to my guys, obviously my physio, Ivan, just go through what's best for me. I haven't really been through all that just yet.

Q. Obviously you still think you can win slams if you're coming back?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you know, obviously it's frustrating because I felt like I was in such good shape, and I felt like I'd done everything possible coming into the Australian summer to give myself as good a shot. I still gave a hundred percent. I lost to the best player in the world at the moment.
But, yeah, for me the obvious goal, the next one will be Wimbledon. It's a place where I feel comfortable at. It's a place I played extremely well last year. Was only one or two points away from making the semis there. I feel like if I can get back and play some matches before Wimbledon, I have an outside chance of doing well.

Q. Is it harder or easier having been through it once?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's kind of easier to know what to expect. Even when I come back, you might have some good days and some bad days. Even when you start playing matches again, yeah, it could just be a little bit stiff in the hip joint afterwards.
But you put up with that. At least I know the kind of pain that I'm going through at the moment. A few weeks, it will go away. I got to start doing all the right things again.
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Roland Garros

May 24, 2010, R128

Lleyton Hewitt

L. Hewitt/J. Chardy
7-5, 6-0, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. Looks like you showed some good timing there this afternoon?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was good to get it in just in time. It would have been frustrating, obviously, yeah, just how the match was panning out to, you know, to have to stop for whether it was one or two games or another set. I was glad to get it through.

Q. After your hip surgery, looked like you're moving quite freely? You seemed like you got all your movement back now.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I've been moving a lot better, especially fairly well when I went back for Davis Cup. And, yeah, as soon as I got here to Paris I enjoyed playing on these courts. These are the best courts you can possibly play on. I feel very comfortable moving on these courts.

Q. Denis Istomin in your next round. Have you played against him or know much about his game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I played him probably three years ago, second round in the Australian Open.

Q. 2008.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Was it? Thanks.
Yeah, so, he's a good ball striker. Very good ball striker. He moves well for a big guy, totally different matchup to today's matchup. In a couple days' time I'll be ready.

Q. Probably in the third round you will face Rafa Nadal like last year. What kind of match can you imagine?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Mate, I'm not even thinking about Rafa just yet. I just come off the court. Until now I hadn't even thought past Chardy.
It was a pretty tough draw. I saw him play last week in Düsseldorf. He played extremely well. He cleaned up Kohlschreiber and Monaco quite comfortably both in straight sets last week.
My focus was on him. I won't even be thinking about Rafa until I get on top of Istomin.

Q. We've seen a couple of suspensions on the men's tour with recreational drugs, but with Odesnik's situation, wondering if that puts things in a different light as to what or what not your peers might or might not be trying to do to improve their performance?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. To tell you the truth, I don't know a whole lot about it. You know, it was obviously strange I think for all the players, especially the guys like myself that were in Houston, once it had sort of come out that he was there and still being able to compete.
That was probably the strangest thing I think for the players more than anything. Apart from that, I don't think yeah, it's obviously disappointing. I think it's worse for the sport than the rest of the players. You know, it hurts the sport more.

Q. So the people around you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not really. That's not something that I sit at night, you know, worrying about too much.

Q. What about the fact that he was caught coming in, you know, by customs agents and not by the testing program?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, it's just a strange one. As I said, I don't know a lot about it, but Australian customs are pretty tough, anyway. To come in with some kind of steroids is that's pushing your luck.

Q. Waited a long time in the line to bring in some nuts.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, that's a bit different.

Q. Just also on the hitting partners, what do you look for in a hitting partner?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. Yeah, for me the biggest time that I've had good hitting partners is like Davis Cup where we get to bring some of the better juniors or the guys that aren't quite as good on the tour.
I like hitting with a guy that's gonna give you a bit of rhythm out there. You get a feel for the court, obviously. You know, a guy that gives 100% every time they step on the practice court.

Q. You said obviously you're not thinking of Rafa yet. I guess with the way you played today it must give you a fair bit of confidence out there against anyone at the moment.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, today was a good win. As I said, I was ready for a tough match today, and obviously playing a young French guy on the rise. He's played extremely well.
I think this surface especially here at Roland Garros was more bouncy and quicker. It suits his game style. I think the last two years he's made the third round and fourth round last year. It was gonna be a tough draw.
Obviously I'll try and draw as much confidence from that as possible.

Q. The French Open hasn't been great for Australians the last few years. We have half a dozen now through to the second round. I just wondered your thoughts on the progress.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's good. Obviously, you know, I'd like to see more on the men's side, more coming through. You know, there's only two of us Australian men in the main draw, and then obviously Carsten got a wildcard. It's fantastic that he's been able to use that.
But, yeah, we've got to try and get you know, when I first started coming here we were having quite a few players. Even the guys like the Woodies and that that, okay, probably weren't challenging for the title, but they were pushing for a third, fourth rounds consistently at Grand Slams. That's what we ought to try and get back to.

Q. Do you use hybrid or synthetic, or what do you use on your racquet?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I use half gut and half Luxilon.

Q. When did you start doing that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: End of 2003.

Q. Why do you do that, and why does that work for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I like my racquets to play more like gut. Ever since I came on the tour, I think only time I've played with anything other than gut on my racquet was when I won Adelaide the first time. I would've had some crappy string in there. I don't even know what it was.
Yeah, from there, I think Rochey and Nick got me to start using gut. It's hard to change. I think half and half for me, it still plays more like gut because I have my gut in the mains. But I feel like I get a little bit more spin, especially when I get pushed out wide.

Q. Do you find the synthetics I mean, they've never been able to replicate the feeling of natural gut but seems like they're going off in a direction with creating more bite on the ball, more spin. I mean, is that your feeling?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a lot of players are doing that these days. I think a lot depends on the kind of racquet you use, as well, and what kind of string you put in it. So for me I feel half and half works pretty well.

Q. Obviously it hasn't happened necessarily with yourself, with the Australian men, but would you hope that with Sam, the way Sam Stosur's game is, that we can sort of carry a few more women through to the business end of these sort of tournaments? At least encourage and inspire more girls?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think men and women. We've got to hopefully get more people through to, yeah, pushing for the second week of Grand Slams. That's what you want, not just to get a few guys in the actual main draw.
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Roland Garros 2010

May 26, 2010, R64

Lleyton Hewitt

L. Hewitt/D. Istomon
1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please


Q. Towards the end of the first set and the beginning of the second, looked like you were having some physical problems out there.

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. Felt fine. First set obviously got off to a slow start. And, yeah, he was timing the ball well from the start, and, yeah, hitting a lot of lines out there. Yeah, every time I got him moving he sort of was able to slap a winner on me, which made it difficult.

Q. The serving, was it just a day where you weren't the as able to get as much rhythm as I like?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I got better as the match went on, which was a good thing. Yeah, he's a tough player. Doesn't give you a lot cheap points out there, and he's sort of flashy. He'll play a couple of a good one set and then a couple, yeah, he was slightly off.
And then the fourth set and start of the fifth he probably played his best tennis again. I kind of had to weather the storm. It was good to get on top of him towards the end of that fifth.

Q. You seemed to really get going in that fifth set. I guess you were right on the edge and it brings out the best in you.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I guess. I don't like losing too many five set matches. He played some good tennis to break my twice in the fourth set. I was still confident that I was gonna get some chances. Yeah, he was gonna have some too, and I was gonna have to dig deep to get out of them.

Q. Once again, you're next going against Rafa. What's your mindset and thoughts on that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I got nothing to lose out there. It's a matter of going out there and playing my game, and hopefully I can hit the ball well.

Q. Probably a chance you'll be on a show court.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably. I don't think I'll be on Court 7.

Q. Is that something that has a bit of attractiveness to you as well when you play the big players, Rafa on center court in front of a good sized crowd?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, that's the reason you play tennis, to get opportunities to play the best players in the world. In the Grand Slams, I feel like I've put myself in a position my whole career that's it's taken the best players most times in a Grand Slam to beat me.
Hopefully I can give him a good match tomorrow.

Q. Just going back to today's match, at any stage of the match did you feel threatened that the result might go the wrong way or anything like that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you're always wary out there the whole time. But, yeah, towards the end of the fourth set he started hitting ball well. He was timing it extremely well, especially his forehand up the line. I wasn't getting in as many service games as I was in the second and third sets.
Yeah, I sort of to bide my time. He's a flashy player, a bit like Chardy. It's tough to dictate against, so I had to wait my time.
Then at 1 All in the third, that's when I got my chance. Then at 3 2 serving when I had to save three breakpoints, that was a big game for me then.

Q. Looking ahead on Nadal, do you foresee anything different to the last couple times you might have played him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I would be surprised if he did anything different. He cleaned me up last few times. Yeah, he's obviously very dominant, especially on this surface.
Yeah, I'm gonna have to go out there and execute what I want to do, and do it bloody well.

Q. You've always said that you really get excited to play the likes of the big guys. The hours before going into somebody like a Nadal, what would be your routine? What would your thought process be? Excited? Nervous? What would the situation be?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, doesn't really change a lot. Yeah, that is part of being a professional athlete. You got to take every match on its merits.
You know, I can only control my side of the court and what I'm doing out there. So my preparation, I've always felt I've been pretty professional out there every match. Gonna be no different to preparing for today's match.
Obviously the thought patterns and speaking to Heals before the match, obviously trying ways that we can look at whatever weaknesses Rafa does have.
Apart from that, not a whole a lot of difference.

Q. Your first serve stat was about 48%. How do you think you'll go against someone like Rafa if you can't get that up a bit?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Depends. You don't get a lot of cheap points from Rafa anyway, even if you get your first serve in.
So, you know, a lot of it's about hitting your spots at the right times, I think. That's what I was able to do today. You know, in that 3 2 game in the fifth set I served extremely well to get out of this game. It's about doing it at the right times.
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WIMBLEDON

June 23, 2010, R64

Lleyton Hewitt

LONDON, ENGLAND

L. HEWITT/E. Korolev
6-4, 6-4, 3-0 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.


Q. Was that a day when things went as well as they could have in terms of tactics and the way you executed?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was good. I got off to a good start. I was on his serve from the start. You know, able to put pressure on him. The way he played was pretty much how I expected him to play.
He can come up with some great stuff out there and some loose points as well. It's a matter of just hanging on, giving a hundred percent in every point 'cause even when he's 40-15 up, you can still get out of one of those games.
So, yeah, for the most part I played pretty well.

Q. Seven unforced errors. You must be pretty happy with your efficiency, too.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, yeah, I played a clean match, a smart match. I served well. Hit my spots really well where I wanted to today. Yeah, that was important because when he got an opportunity to have a swing, especially if I didn't get a high enough percentage of first serves in, that was going to make life tougher.
I was pretty happy when I did it.

Q. When you see an opponent break down physically like that, do you get any pleasure out of that, any kind of satisfaction?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well when he called the trainer, he actually served all right just the game before that. I didn't really know a hundred percent why he was actually calling the trainer in the first place. It wasn't that bad because he actually waited till the next changeover.
So must have gone downhill very quickly for him to be able to pull out.

Q. You've had a couple of long battles with Monfils. What do you need to do to beat him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's a different match to today. Different to my first round as well. He loves a target. He moves extremely well. Probably moves a bit better on clay and hard court than grass.
But, yeah, he's obviously got a big wingspan out there, good first serve. So it's a matter of, you know, going out there and still playing my game. I think I'll match up pretty well if I can go out and execute what I want to do.

Q. Does the fact that Roger Rasheed has been involved with you both give any significance to the next one?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think so. I think once we get out there, yeah, we've played a couple times, I think he knows my game reasonably well and I know his pretty well. Once we're out there, it's going to be a different match because it's on grass, and I think that's going to be the biggest, you know, hopefully telling point.

Q. Did you sense any tension out in the crowd considering that England was playing at the same time?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, no.

Q. Are you going to watch Australia tonight?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I will. Nice I finished a bit earlier than a couple days ago. Yeah, it will be good.

Q. Have a couple of beers?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I won't have any beers. No, not tonight.

Q. All business?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, at the moment.

Q. Are you pleased physically to be getting a reasonably easy run so far?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the first match was physically long points out there. It's always hard the first five-setter on grass, I think. But I bounced back well today. Obviously, today didn't take a whole heap out of me, which is good.
Moving forward, you know, if you can keep doing that, putting yourself in a position where you feel good in the second week, it makes life a lot easier.
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WIMBLEDON

June 25, 2010, R32

Lleyton Hewitt

LONDON, ENGLAND

L. HEWITT/G. Monfils
6-3, 7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. Can you sum it up, please, Lleyton.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was always going to be a tough match. You know, he's flashy, like most French guys. He's got a lot of firepower out there.
Yeah, he moves well. Obviously grass takes away a little bit of his movement, his best movement, I think.
But in terms of, yeah, his serve, he hits all the spots extremely well. So that's what makes it tough on a grass court. And I felt like I played well out there today. I played smart tennis.

Q. What's the best part about your game at the moment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit of everything. I served well for two sets today. Third set I didn't serve as well, but I didn't need to as much. But the first two sets I served extremely well. I took my chances. What Heals and I planned, I executed to perfection the first couple of sets. That was the pleasing part so far.
Every match is different, but today was a step up in class, and I rose for it.

Q. Second week, this is where you always wanted to be?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. It's about surviving the first week, giving yourself a chance. Gets tougher now. Step up in class again against a top-four opponent. Now see what happens.

Q. How do you feel about the shape you're in, the form you're in now, compared to the last few years at this stage?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I feel good at the moment. Obviously, yeah, I've had a couple of rough times just with hips and feeling yeah, the first hip I played with when it wasn't even close to a hundred percent for quite a while. Yeah, it got to the stage I wanted to play Wimbledon, about a couple months after that I ended up having to have surgery. Yeah, that was frustrating, playing with that.
But, yeah, I'm probably more surprised how well I've been able to bounce back from the last couple of surgeries to how I'm moving and feeling physically, able to bounce back day after day at the moment, which is pleasing.

Q. Would this be the best look at this point at the weekend?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, every slam's different purely on the fact of it depends the matches and the time you spend on court. Right at the moment I'm feeling pretty good. My body's feeling good, which is a great thing. The hip's not a problem at all. Yeah, that's a huge positive.

Q. Perhaps the best for four or five years?

LLEYTON HEWITT: As I said, it's hard, purely because sometimes you survive a five-setter or something in the first couple of matches, but that can wear on you a little bit. Yeah, right at the moment, you know, I've done everything I've needed to do.

Q. Were you especially pleased to stay in that tiebreak after you had a couple of fluffy forehands, to keep your focus and get through? I think that would have given him a big lift.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was a big set to get out of for me, one, because I felt like I had pretty much dominated the whole set. I didn't give him any chances on my service game whatsoever. I was the only one that had any chances.
I felt like I was, you know, getting into his service games, but he came up with some big serves at the right times when he needed to.
The breaker, it was a little bit of everything. But that's Monfils. You know, he'll come out and play a couple of blinding shots, and then he'll come and give you a couple of double-faults.
It's not an easy person to play against because he doesn't give you that rhythm and you don't know what's going to happen.

Q. Can you talk about the Djokovic match, what you expect, what you'll need to do?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I haven't even thought about it yet. So, yeah, obviously get a couple days off now. So today we'll just enjoy getting through and being in the second week.
But, yeah, he's a quality opponent. As I said, it's another step up. You know, go out there. If I go out there the way that I've been playing and hitting the ball, I can give him a run for his money.

Q. How do you rate him as a grass courter, specifically?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He's been a little bit up and down over the years. I played him at Queen's once the year that he made the final against Rafa at Queen's. I thought he played bloody well on grass that year in particular.
Then he came and lost to Safin second round I think here at Wimbledon, which was surprising. So he's been a little bit up and down on grass.

Q. Obviously our sport has three really distinct surfaces. Between clay, hard, grass, which surface do you think demands the most of an athlete?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. It's a tough question. You know, grass, you know, obviously it's an all-court game. It's a lot harder on your body than people think, I think, purely because the ball is staying so low on a grass court. Sometimes it takes it out of your legs on a grass court.
With the clay, it's sliding. A bloody tough surface. But in terms of purely because of the rallies are more longer, that's the toughest part about clay.
Hard court, that's tough on your body just purely because of the jolting around on a hard surface.
So I can't pinpoint one.

Q. What did you make of Isner-Mahut? You're a guy who has been around for a long time. Staying out there for 11 hours.

LLEYTON HEWITT: My matches wouldn't go that long. I'd either break or lose serve.

Q. What did you make of it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, it's amazing. You know, like everyone said before me, it's incredible, to think that both guys can serve that well and not play a couple of loose points.
I saw a little bit of it at patches, but you have to take your hat off to Mahut to be diving around. You know, he looked fresh as a daisy. Obviously, it was telling on John today, you know, to try and bounce back from that - not only physically but emotionally, too, mentally. It would never have been easy for him today.

Q. You're one of the most intense players in our game. After winning the tiebreak, you were doing the fist pumps multiple times. How do you think the fire in your belly is now compared to six, seven years ago when you were a good bit younger?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think it's still the same.

Q. Why is that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: That's who I am. You can't buy that. You know, that's my personality coming out on the court. Yeah, I've always played with my heart on my sleeve.
Doesn't matter what the situation. If I'm up for the fight, then, you know, it's going to show at the right times, I think. It's not something you premeditate before you go out there to play.

Q. You're known for your wheels, a lot of things. But is that your greatest strength as a player?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm not sure. I'd like to think that I've got a few strengths, not just one.

Q. But where does your will to win come in?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, it's obviously up there. Wins a lot of matches for me. Yeah, I'd rather have it than not have it, that's for sure.

Q. Did you feel today that your performance went a long way to justifying the Club's decision to give you the boost in seeding?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I didn't even think about that at all. Yeah, in terms of seedings, they have their own formula. It's not actually the Club choosing where you go, which I think a lot of people write up, which is wrong. They actually have a formula that they use every year.
Whether it's right or not, that's everyone's opinion. But they go by the rule that they set. It's not the same as when I first came on the tour and they just pick and choose where people would go.

Q. Apart from playing Novak at the Australian Open after you played Baghdatis in that dusk-to-dawn match, how has Novak hurt you in the past when he's beaten you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He moves exceptional. He's a great mover on the court. He's a great athlete. He's very solid from both sides of the court. Yeah, good first serve. Yeah, he's an all-around player. He can slice, as well.
But, yeah, I think he can attack and defend extremely well. You know, when he won the Australian Open, that was probably his biggest asset. He was serving well, but he was attacking and defending well.

Q. What plans for the weekend? Going to get away from tennis at all?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, nothing. Still got to stay in the moment. Nothing different to any other off days.

Q. Looking to the match against Djokovic, do you see Monday's match, being in the form you're in, you beat Roger two weeks ago, playing on your favorite surface, do you see this match as being one of your best chances in probably the last three or four years of beating a top-four player in a real billing Grand Slam match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. I always go out there and give myself a chance. I guess, you know, in the pecking order here, out of the top four guys, Novak is probably the fourth out of those top-four guys on grass right at the moment.
But Roger and Rafa are the two main guys. I'm going to go out there and take it to him and see what I've got.

Q. In another event, Australia had a good result against Serbia. Is that going to give you a huge jolt of confidence in your matchup with Novak?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. It was a good result, but it wasn't good enough, you know.

Q. Did you give him a little bit of a hard time about that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, no. I think I made one comment. They were shattered, him and Zimonjic, in the locker room. They expected us to tank.
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WIMBLEDON

June 28, 2010, R16

Lleyton Hewitt

LONDON, ENGLAND

N. DJOKOVIC/L. Hewitt
7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please, for Lleyton Hewitt.


Q. Two sets to love down, you came back, do you feel that was one that got away from you in the end?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes and no. Yeah, he went back to playing some of his better tennis again in the fourth set. I didn't serve as well as I needed to.
Yeah, to put him under pressure, you know, I had a couple of 30-All games there late in the fourth set that I couldn't quite turn around. The two service games I lost in the fourth set, I really should have won both of those.
He hit some good returns, deep returns on them, but I was up in both service games.

Q. Could you tell there was anything wrong with him in that third set?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. He's always got something. So I wasn't focusing on it, yeah, at all. I was just trying to play my game. Yeah, he looked fine again in the fourth.

Q. It was a surprise he actually called for medical assistance at that stage in the match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, he looked pretty comfortable at two sets to love, so yeah.

Q. Must be pretty disappointed about the finish to your campaign?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I guess. Well, you know, always when you lose any Grand Slam, you're disappointed. Yeah, I won't really reflect on it right at the moment. Over the next couple weeks.
Yeah, a lot of positives to take out of the last month, though, so... Got to try and look at those as much as possible.

Q. Physically, you came up all right at the end of the game? Hip is fine?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, fine.

Q. The US Open is the last slam of the year. Your next big focus?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, obviously. Haven't even thought about it up till now. Yeah, obviously you start that hard court swing and the US Open Series, you know, then the big pitch is obviously the US Open, a place that I enjoy playing at, so...

Q. Still think you got a chance you'll come back here and go a bit further? Still think you can win this tournament again?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. As I said, I feel like I've got as good a chance as a few guys there that can win it. Yeah, I need a little bit of luck always. You know, even though Novak, it's possibly not his best surface, he's still a helluva player, especially from the back of the court. He's able to hit a lot of winners out there, you know, on any surface and he moves extremely well.
Yeah, I think if things fall my way, then yeah, sure.

Q. Did you think you had the match in your control at 2-All when you broke back in the fourth set?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, yes. But, you know, he played a good game to break me first game of the -- he got lucky with the net cord but hit a few good returns the first game of the fourth set. He's that kind of opponent that, you know, if you don't get a high percentage of first serves in, he'll jump on your second serve and put you under pressure. Yeah, I was never taking anything for granted.

Q. He said he was suffering from stomach cramps. Has that ever happened to you, where you suffered, then regained your momentum later in the game?
LLEYTON HEW
ITT: I don't know. I haven't had it.

Q. Did you change your tactics at all in the third set when you saw he was in trouble?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I still tried to, yeah, come in a little bit, put him under some pressure when I can. He's not the easiest person to come in against, though, purely because he moves so well at the back of the court. If you don't hit your approach shot in the exact right position, uhm, yeah, you're gonna get punished obviously.
So, uhm, I was trying to bide my time obviously. I didn't quite return as well as I would have liked.

Q. Is it hard not to think that you'll be 30 when you come back here next year, the chances are slipping away? Do you sense that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, no. Yeah, I come back, I give a hundred percent and see what happens. I'd much rather be in my position of coming back at 30 and won it before than never have won it and trying to win your first one.
Yeah, that's the upside.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:55 PM   #296
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AUSTRALIAN OPEN

January 16, 2011

Lleyton Hewitt

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.


Q. Yesterday must have been a great thing for you, giving your confidence a good boost coming into the Aussie Open.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was nice. I had a really good week at Kooyong. It was obviously a little bit interrupted with the rain delays and stuff around the place. But we got looked after extremely well.
Yeah, I felt really comfortable out there on the court, which is really good.

Q. Preparation-wise, does it set in you better stead than previous years?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I can only speak to this year. I feel like everything's gone to plan so far. Yeah, as I keep saying, you know, the last few days, I've done everything possible that I could have done so far. So it's a matter of just going out there and executing and hopefully playing well on Tuesday.

Q. You don't have any injury niggles at the moment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. Feeling good at the moment.

Q. What about David Nalbandian in the first round, how do you feel about playing him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, as I said the other day leading up, it's going to be a tough match. It's going to be a tough first round. I'm looking forward to it. You're going to have to play well and I expect him to be hitting the ball pretty well after last week, as well.

Q. Is there any sort of a positive to playing a player like that that you know so well and you played before?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's obviously a tough draw. Normally you don't mind, yeah, easing into the tournament a little bit. But we're both going to have to be up for the match straightaway. If you're not, you're going to be out in the first round.
Yeah, there's plenty to play for.

Q. This afternoon's Rally for Relief, that doesn't alter your preparations at all ahead of Tuesday when you play your first match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not at all. Yeah, it's going to be a bit of fun. Pat and I are sort of running the show out there a little bit. It's going to be different, but it's going to be a lot of fun.
Yeah, it's all for a great cause. Pat and I, what we've given for Australia in Davis Cup, we love doing things for our great country. This afternoon's no different.

Q. Have you been surprised, not just the Australian players like yourself and Sam, but so many of the top internationals have gotten behind, playing on yours and Pat's team this afternoon?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not really surprised, but it's a great thing. Guys like Roger and Rafa do so much, not just for tennis, but are great ambassadors for our sport. They're great guys off the court as well with what they do with the busy schedules they have.
I'm not surprised what these guys have offered. It's fantastic. It can really help the day as well, which is great.

Q. What do you expect about the role of people in the match against Nalbandian?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's going to be no different to me playing anyone else in Australia. I always have a lot of great support here in Australia. Every time I play here at Melbourne Park, the support that I get is fantastic. It's not going to be any different playing David, if I get through, than playing my second-round opponent.

Q. As this stage of your career, do you come into this tournament, which you completely love, thinking it could be your last and really treating it as if it could be?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really 'cause right at the moment I don't think it's going to be the last. It's not something that I dwell on too much at all when I go out there.
Yeah, I enjoy walking through the corridors here at Melbourne Park, get excited every time I come here to not only play but also practice.
Yeah, as I said, the motivation is still there and the body is feeling as good as it has for a few years right at the moment, which is good.

Q. There's people writing that your best years are behind you. How do you feel? Do you feel you can still have your best performances in your future?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Well, obviously it's hard to clip what I did in 2001, 2002, winning slams and Davis Cups, being ranked world No. 1. But, yeah, priorities and I guess goals change a little bit after you've been able to do that. A lot's sort of changed with how your body is as well. That's why my main priority is obviously with Davis Cup. We don't play a Davis Cup tie till later on in the year. But apart from that, the Grand Slams are my main priority.
Yeah, the ranking will take care of itself, as I've always said. My priority now is the four majors and preparing and trying to do as well as I can in those.

Q. What do you think you can achieve in the Grand Slams?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, have to wait and see. All I can do is go out there. As I said coming into this tournament, when you're unseeded, it's always a little bit hard with draws and whatever. But I still feel like I can go out there and give most guys a pretty good run.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:59 PM   #297
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AUSTRALIAN OPEN

January 18, 2011, R128

Lleyton Hewitt

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

D. NALBANDIAN/L. Hewitt
3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 9-7

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. Talk us through your feelings after that.

LLEYTON HEWITT: There's not a lot to talk about at the moment. A bit frustrating, so... Yeah, a bit disappointed at the moment.

Q. How do you rate it as a result here? Obviously very frustrating. You were in the match right through it.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's frustrating. I'll sit back and go through it. But right at the moment, yeah, as I said it's disappointing to come so close and fight for so long and not able to quite get the win tonight.

Q. Especially when you're probably playing better than you have in a while, too.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm hitting the ball all right. There's not a lot I can do about it.

Q. How have you gone about bridging the gap to some of the better players and what are your plans in that regard?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know right at the moment.

Q. Even in the off-season.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I was just working on my game, trying to yeah, there's small areas of my game that Rochey and I wanted to work on and we just tried to strengthen those up. Some of those I feel I've been doing well the last few weeks. It's not always to take them from the practice court and put them in the match court either.
There's still a few things there to work on, as well.

Q. Still a bit of room for the rest of the year.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you can always improve. The bar's always getting raised by the top guys. If I can stay fit and healthy and play a full calendar, then hopefully I can get better as the year goes on.

Q. People seem to be asking if you'll be back.

LLEYTON HEWITT: What have I said coming in? I think that answers it.

Q. You had so many close games against David. Is there a particular reason that happens between the two of you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Wimbledon final wasn't too close, so...

Q. Are you feeling okay after the match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:05 PM   #298
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Gerry Webber Open

June 8, 2011, R32

Lleyton Hewitt

L. Hewitt/L. Mayer
6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. How do you feel?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not too bad. I didn’t have a lot of high expectations going out there. But I felt I got better as the match went on, which was good. I got used to the conditions and the grass out there. It’s totally different to the practice courts at the moment, which took me a little while to adjust.

Q: How did your body feel, was it aching?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I feel pretty good at the moment.

Q: Where did you prepare yourself for Halle?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I went to the French Open and tried to get ready for that, but it was probably a week or two too early to play the French Open. But I gave myself every opportunity by being there and having treatment. Then I went to London for a couple of days to practice on grass, and then I came here.

Q: What was your first reaction when you heard that you might play Federer, and what was your first reaction when you heard that he won’t play here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I didn’t have a lot of high expectations coming in here anyway, so I wasn’t too worried about the draw, I was more worried about my physical fitness and how my body was holding up. At the moment I’m more focusing on getting more matches than who I play. Obviously Roger had a tough match in Paris and a tough few weeks there, there is always a small chance that he’s going to pull out. It’s a tough time of the year, to have two major tournaments so close together.

Q: You know the fact that you had a collection of surgeries more recently, how is that compared to the problems you had with your hip?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Can’t decide here, every surgery is slightly different, the foot and the hip are two totally different things. You are just trying to do everything possible to get back as quickly as possible. Then again, when there is stuff to do with bones, there is not that much you can really do to hurry that up.

Q: Tommy Haas had hip surgery as you know, and you had it twice. Tommy was pretty impressed that you had it twice and came back pretty impressively. He’s now coming back after more than a year.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, he should have get it done in Australia. He spoke to my physio a long time ago and my physio told him to have it done in Australia. In terms of hips, no one comes close to the guys in Australia.

Q: Do you think Tommy has a chance to come back, to compete again?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. He looks in great condition physically at the moment. He’s going to be fresh and hungry and eager to go out there. I saw a little bit of his match there yesterday, and it didn’t look like a big problem to me. Obviously he’s been out for a long time, so he needs to get back into that routine to play matches. It’s hard enough for me, being out three and a half months or so, but him being out over a year, that’s different.

Q: What do you think about newspaper headlines saying “Out again in round one” about Tommy Haas?

LLEYTON HEWITT: People don’t obviously know a lot about sports or playing tennis.

Q: Talking about newspaper, from what I’ve read Aussie newspapers are kind of speculating that you can’t defend the points you won in Halle last year and the points you won in Wimbledon last that you might drop out of the top 100. Is that something that’s bothering you at the current stage of your career?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I couldn’t care less.

Q: You talked about being on the practice courts and obviously the first match is a big difference to that. What’s the most important thing for you as far as getting your game ready? You also said that you need to play matches. What do you have to concentrate on?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, being in matches, facing break points, taking those small opportunities you get especially on a grass court. These are the small things that you can’t do on the practice court, no matter how many times you do it. You need to get these small things under your belt until they become second nature. For me on the practice court, I try to get my timing, my movement until it does become second nature.
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Lleyton Hewitt

EASTBOURNE, ENGLAND, R32

O. ROCHUS/L. Hewitt
6-2, 3-0, Ret.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. How are you feeling?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I could be better. No, it was touch and go whether I'd be able to play here anyway. I slipped over last week at the end of the first set against Kohlschreiber and stirred up the foot that I had surgery on a little bit.
So since then I've just been trying to, you know, get treatment and do all the right things. I've been talking with the doctors here. You know, it just hasn't quite improved as much as I would have liked by today, but I wanted to come out and try anyway.
You know, I obviously have to focus on Wimbledon now next week.

Q. Is it a case that regarding Wimbledon, you didn't want to make it worse today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes and no. I'd want it to be a lot better than it is today to be able to play Wimbledon, yeah.

Q. Is there any chance you might not make it to Wimbledon, then, do you think?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I'm not sure. Yeah, I still feel like -- in another week I can, another five days or whatever, I feel like I can still get good treatment. You know, with the right people behind me and have a couple easier days, as well, hopefully I can, yeah, start getting a little bit better.

Q. You are having to kind of rebound from a lot of blows at the moment. How frustrating is it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's a little bit frustrating. Yeah, because I'm actually quite happy with my ball striking at the moment, which is frustrating because my movement is such a big part of my game, though.
Yeah, that's the most frustrating thing. Yeah, I guess more frustrating when you feel or you know you've done all the right things, as well, to try and put yourself in a position.
So, yeah, this is one of my favorite times of the year playing these grass court tournaments, as well. So to not be 100% and going out there still trying to compete isn't, you know, that easy mentally, either.

Q. Do you feel you just couldn't put much power through the foot today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I was in pain the whole time, so it wasn't a matter of putting power into it.

Q. What sort of pain? Stabbing pain or ache?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's more stabbing pain the whole time. It was -- you know, I felt like it was improving, yeah, pretty well up until last week. And then against Kohlschreiber, in the end of the first-set tiebreak, I slipped over and, you know, sort of jarred it again which wasn't probably the best thing for it.

Q. Would you consider painkillers for playing Wimbledon?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'll see what happens. I haven't even thought about it yet. I had quite a few today and it didn't work, so...

Q. As injections or tablets?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You don't need to know that. (Laughter.) Thanks.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:10 PM   #300
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Default Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

WIMBLEDON

June 21, 2011, R128

Lleyton Hewitt

LONDON, ENGLAND

L. HEWITT/K. Nishikori
6-1, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Lleyton Hewitt for you.


Q. How satisfying was that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Very satisfying, considering what I've been through. Yeah, mentally and physically what I've had to go through to try and even get on the court. He's a quality player. So, yeah, it's pleasing, very pleasing.

Q. Were you surprised how well you moved out there?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. Yeah, it's always in the back of your mind. That's the hardest thing about a Grand Slam, playing a big tournament, is trying to get it out of your mind as much as possible and concentrate on what I've got to actually do out there on the court and what's actually going on around me within the match as well and focus on that a hundred percent. That was tough mentally to do out there today.

Q. Did you feel you were in less pain than last week?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. No, it was good. Feel good.

Q. Can you elaborate more on the journey of the last week or so.

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's been rough, sort of been a day-to-day thing really. Kind of knowing the whole time that it's not just gonna magically disappear overnight. That's the hard thing, you know. You wake up, it's pretty sore.
As I said, I've had to try and block it out as much as possible and still get on with practice and doing all the right things to prepare myself as well as possible.
So, yeah, I think everyone knows if it wasn't Wimbledon, I wouldn't be out there. I'd be obviously looking after my body a bit more. You know, this is what I play for.

Q. It was proper test of your foot, too?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He's a quality player. He's won tour events, made the semis last week. Lost to a good grass court player in Tipsarevic. It was always going to be a tough match.
I think grass is probably his second best surface I'd say behind hard courts. He moves extremely well out on the courts. He's got a world-class backhand. His forehand is flashy. He's dangerous.

Q. What's the medical advice on what you should do with your foot if you weren't here playing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know. Right now, don't know. We haven't really thought about it because I was always going to play.
Basically just I've told everyone we'll sit back and think about that after the tournament. But right now we're just doing everything we can to, you know, get as close to a hundred percent as possible.

Q. Painkillers today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You don't need to know that.

Q. What will you do before your next match? A lot of physio as well as having a practice hitting?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. I'm playing doubles. I might be playing doubles tomorrow. I'm not sure. Yeah, I'll obviously be playing doubles with my good mate Looch. Hopefully gonna have a win in that. Be using that as a practice hit anyway if we are on tomorrow, my day off between singles matches.

Q. You won the Open 10 years ago. A few days later it's 9/11. Do you have recollections of that? Were you already flying home? How did that play out for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, no, I've got strong memories, amazing memories. I think I was on one of the last flights out of New York the night before it happened the next morning.
So we were flying obviously back to Sydney, L.A. to Sydney on the plane when it happened. I think the air hostess and everyone had been told what was going on, but no one else knew at the time.
Yeah, when we landed in Sydney and got told what was happening, it was something out of a movie. Incredible.

Q. Could you take a minute and talk about the role of luck in our sport. There's draws, let cords, injuries, the situations you were born into. Talk about the role of luck in tennis and in your career.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, yeah. Luck plays a big part, but a lot of things you make your own luck, as well, by preparation and doing the right things. Obviously, during a match there's, you know, things that can happen, net cords, line calls. There's a lot of things that can go your way and go against you. You'd like to think that it evens out over time over 10 years, 12 years of playing.
But, uhm, you know, I'm still a big believer if you do all the right things, maybe little bits of luck might fall your way.

Q. Can you recall a real lucky moment in your career and a not-so-lucky?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not off the top of my head, no.

Q. Next up it looks like Robin Soderling. Tell us about how that's going to be as a challenge for you with your foot and everything.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'll be right come Thursday. It's going to be another tough test. He's another step up from Nishikori. Especially on this surface, he's a dangerous player. He's a big striker off both sides, forehand and backhand, from the baseline, and got a big serve, big first serve, big flat one.

Q. A chance you'll get a decent court, is this the sort of match that keeps you going?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'll be up for it, that's for sure.

Q. You've beaten him before. What have you had to do on those occasions?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It was quite a while ago. He's improved since those times. We really only played once since he's last year in Cincinnati it was an extremely tight match in three sets.
Yeah, I got to go out there and play my game, obviously try to dictate play as much as possible. Then again, I'm going to have to return and move extremely well to put him under some kind of pressure. He's the guy that wants to be playing on his terms and trying to dictate me around.
So, yeah, it will be a good matchup.
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Rusty - always # 1 in my heart

Lleyton Hewitt


Gael Monfils - Aleksandr Dolgopolov - Juan Martin Del Potro - Nick Kyrgios - Jason Kubler - Serhiy Stakhovsky - Gianni Mina - Martin Klizan - Benjamin Mitchell - Borna Coric - Francis Tiafoe - Noah Rubin
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