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Old 07-03-2012, 04:12 PM   #301
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Default Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

WIMBLEDON

June 23, 2011, R64

Lleyton Hewitt

LONDON, ENGLAND

R. SODERLING/L. Hewitt
6-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. You played a tremendous match, a tough one. How many times did you think you wouldn't make it to Wimbledon with all your injuries?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Believe it or not, it didn't enter my mind purely because I thought I was gonna play no matter what. So the whole time I was optimistic about the French Open, but deep down it was always going to be a tough call whether I was going to be able to play the French.

Where I'm at in my career at the moment, this is what I play for, the Grand Slams. Even though the French Open, you know, it's not my favorite Grand Slam, it's not my best surface, I still want to compete there and have a crack at it as well.

I gave every chance to do that and I was probably a couple weeks too early for there. But, yeah, for here, as I said, my preparation, everything I've done, you know, that's the most pleasing thing, I think. I've done absolutely everything I could have.

Q. Fitness wise are you in a position where you're going to have to take a couple of weeks?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't have any idea at the moment. Right now it's the furthest thing from my mind.

Everyone, whether I've spoken to my surgeon, my physios, my doctors, whoever, we've all just been focusing on trying to get through here in sort of one piece and we'll pick up all the pieces after that and put it together.

Q. How much confidence will you get out of this when you reflect on it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's hard at the moment. But in the end, I feel like I hit the ball pretty well. I hit it a lot better than I did a couple days ago, and I needed to against a guy like Soderling.

Yeah, it's just one of those days. You know, the roof closed I think helped his game, as well. So, you know, it's little things like that you've got to try to put behind you as much as possible.

I felt my ball striking was pretty good out there. My movement was, for the amount of matches I've had, pretty good.

Q. You won your Championship on Centre Court. Is there something special that goes through you playing out there?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it's probably the best court to play tennis on. It's a fantastic atmosphere. The walk onto the court, you know, you get goosebumps doing it every time.

It's a pleasure to play out there. It's obviously slightly different today playing with the roof for the first time for me.

But, yeah, it's an amazing court. When you have great memories walking, you know, back out there as well, it's fantastic to play out there any time.

Q. Was there a moment in the match, maybe an aspect of your game, that let you down that made the difference today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: There's a few points here and there, yeah, if you could just take those half chances. The obvious is trying to consolidate that break early in the fifth set.

I was 15 Love up, missed the forehand. He sort of half shanked it a drop short. I just missed a regulation forehand. But then the next couple points he smoked a couple of big winners. He's that kind of player. You give him a swing at it, and he's going to take it every time.

I think start of the fourth set, I had Love 40 in his first service game. But he served incredible today. He hit a lot of big serves and especially when he needed to.

Q. Do you almost feel you let him off the hook, two sets to love up, playing quite well in the beginning of that fifth set? Do you feel it's almost the one that got away from you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I hardly broke his serve for the rest of the match, though. I didn't have that many chances to be in a commanding position. I think he picked up his game after the second set. He definitely served a lot better.

Very rarely, apart from early in the fifth set, I didn't have too many chances to get into many of his service games.

Q. Where to from now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: The doubles court probably.

Q. Does it surprise you how well you were moving, given what happened at Eastbourne?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it did a little bit. Yeah, I don't know, I guess adrenaline kicks in a little bit, as well. Yeah, I'm used to playing with pain with the hip before the hip surgery, stuff like that.

Yeah, you just try to block it out as much as possible. At least today I felt mentally I was able to concentrate on the match a lot more than my first match. It was going through my mind probably a lot more in that match. You go sort of ebbs and flows concentrating on what you need to do out there. Whereas today I felt like I could pretty much give 100% mentally, which is good.

Q. If the medical advice is you don't need any medical treatment immediately, what kind of schedule do you think you'll have?

LLEYTON HEWITT: The first thing is Davis Cup, obviously, the week following Wimbledon. So that's in China. It's a pretty rough schedule to go to Asia and obviously back to the States after that for the hard court tournaments.

So at this stage, I'll be playing at least four tournaments leading into the US Open, as long as, you know, the foot's all clear to keep going and I'm not going to make things any worse.

Obviously the US Open's the next major you want to be playing well. If I can get through this next Davis Cup tie, we have a bigger Davis Cup tie straight after the US Open. I think everyone's thinking at the moment is, I think they'd want me to be right for that one more so than this one coming up. At this stage I'm still planning to play in China.

Q. How big a deal are the Olympics for you, next year's tournament here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think it's more exciting for me being played here on grass. You know, something different is special I think more than anything.

I still think tennis, in terms of we have so many big events during the year, so we're slightly different to a lot of the other sports in the Olympics. We're sort of on a par with golf, I guess. But, yeah, anytime to play for your country, it's a great honor.

Q. Obviously you're one of the fan favorites here at Wimbledon. You have the very vocal Australian supporters behind you. Can you sort of explain how that helps you on the court? Do you hear them? Does that spur you on to better tennis?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think so. Playing in a stadium like that, having a packed house out there, it's always adrenaline, whether there's Australian people in the crowd or not.

But it was a great atmosphere out there. The Australian Fanatic supporters, they've been to enough tennis matches now, they know how to behave out there, as well. But they're singing the national anthem during the warmup, and then they get a standing ovation for that. It's good fun out there.

Yeah, it does produce a good atmosphere.

Q. Most observers would view your career with the medals you've got in the cabinet already and be amazed you have the motivation to still go on. Where does that motivation come from?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not a hundred percent sure. Yeah, I love competing. I love competing in these events. You know, you're retired for a long time once you're retired. I hear that from a lot of great athletes.

For me, as long as my body's close to a hundred percent, you know, I want to go out there and compete. I still feel like I can obviously give these top guys as much trouble as anyone out there.

So, you know, I don't know a hundred percent why I'm still motivated. I don't know. But as long as I'm prepared to do the hard work and go through all the pain and mentally up and down after surgeries and still get in the gym and do all the hard slog, then you know something's right, I guess, in going out there and you still want to compete.

Q. Patrick Rafter mentioned a few years after he retired, he felt a little bit well, have you chatted with him about that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I haven't spoken to anyone. It's not something that has even entered my mind. Obviously once I made a decision to have the foot surgery and whatever, I've been playing with this problem for at least four, maybe five years, done absolutely everything to get through.

Injections weren't working anymore, so it got to the stage where I had to do something. I wouldn't have gone through all the pain of the rehab if I was going to stop straightaway.

Q. The shot that you played to break in the second set for 5 3, where does that stand in the best shots you've played?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know because I didn't actually see it. Actually when I hit it, I thought it was going to the bottom of the net. I must have been that off balance that I had no idea of the direction, if I made a good contact or whatever.

It was only that the crowd started cheering. I didn't think that would have been for him, for it either hitting the net or him hitting a volley winner on top of the net. I didn't know it was a winner or in until the umpire called the score.

Q. Your ranking is obviously going to take a knock after this. Are you up for qualifying, the hard sort of grind of trying to get back into the main draws?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably not, no. But my ranking, for me, it's not an issue. I'll get wild cards into a certain amount of tournaments that I'll want to play anyway.

As I've always said, your ranking takes care of itself. Once you're actually in the tournament, if I can play at that level consistently, then my ranking's the furthest thing from my mind.

Q. You're regarded as someone with a very disciplined game. Do you see the same qualities in how Novak has been playing this year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. He's playing the percentages extremely well. He's playing extremely solid from the back of the court.

But, you know, obviously his two biggest strengths are his serve and his forehand this year that he's really tightened up and turned them into not just good shots; now they're great shots. You know, the way he covers the court obviously helps him with that.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:14 PM   #302
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Default Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

HOPMAN CUP

29th December 2011

Transcript Ė Lleyton Hewitt


Lleyton Ė seventh time, Hopman Cup, what keeps you coming back?

I think its good preparation. For me especially this year and the last couple of years when I havenít played the most matches, to come back and be guaranteed three tough matches in my group again this year. You know the first two matches are going to be extremely tough for me, but itís good to test out and preparation obviously for the Australian Open only a couple of weeks away.

Who do you rate your toughest opponents in your group this year?

Well obviously Verdasco and Gasquet are on paper the two toughest, but Wu from China is no easy beat either. Heís very good indoors and actually beat Matosevic in our Davis Cup match in singles in five sets earlier this year - so at least Iíve seen him play a little bit.

You seemed to move pretty well out there, howís the toe going?

Yeah not bad - just battling through it. Doing all the right things and hopefully I can get out there and play as pain free as possible, you know go out there and hopefully do the job.

Are you feeling any pain at the moment?

A little bit here and there, but itís been a while since Iíve been injury-free and pain-free now, so itís a matter of just being mentally tough out there and not worrying about it and going out there and getting as close to 100% as possible.

Is there any doubt that Lleyton that you may not play?

No, no.

That was a fairly heavy work out, does that give you confidence that itís all good?

Iíve been training pretty hard the last few weeks, obviously back at home in Sydney with Rochey, heís been putting me through my paces Ė those sessions are never easy. So Iíve been doing a lot of off court work as well, a lot of foot work drills. Iíve been trying to get the agility more than anything, I havenít really played that much since I had foot surgery at the end of February, start of March earlier this year, so itís more about trying to get my movement sort of second nature again out there and that reaction time back to how it usually is. Itís a matter of doing the long hours on the practise court and on the fitness gym to try and make it second nature as much as possible.

Weíve heard people say that theyíre amazed that youíre out there even and going that hard - is that just the way you are or is that your body? How fit are you do you think?

Oh I donít know everyone has niggles. Iím not sure if other play with what Iíve got - I wouldnít have a clue. My motivation is there, Iím pumped up to play the Australian Summer again, and Iíve done everything in my power to get us close to 100% as possible. Thereís no stone unturned for me and thatís what I pride myself on doing - being as professional as possible and hopefully that rubs off on some of the younger Australian guys. Especially around the Davis Cup team and with Patty Rafter as captain and now and Rochey as the coach Ė I think itís a good team mix and hopefully some of the senior stuff can rub off on the younger guys.

Fitness wise what have you been doing over the past few months?

A little bit of running, a little swimming, a lot of bike obviously, but a lot of agility stuff just to try and get confidence back in the movement more than anything. As I said just so it becomes second nature. Normally when you go on the court and youíve been playing a lot of matches itís not something you think about. So for me itís more been trying to do that so I donít rely on or think about how my foot is or movement out there or pushing off from the sides, or stuff like that.

And what was the feedback from the surgeons? Did they say this is something that is likely to flare up again?

Who knows? No-one knows.

Taking Looch around with you as a hitting partner now, how does he help you?

Well heís my second coach, so Iím nearly like a football team now. I have a head coach, assistant coach Ė this is great. Itís a lot easier that way. Looch has been fantastic; heís a great guy to have in my corner, heís helped me out a lot in Davis Cup matches. Heís what playing for Green and Gold is all about. The small stuff behind the scenes that goes in to obviously helping myself or Bernard Tomic or Guccione and these guys go out and play. For me itís going to be great to obviously have Looch in my corner this year. I donít know if heís going to play the Australian Open or not, but heís a great hitting partner and still one of the best ball strikers out there and he works extremely hard.

If you two get on the court at the Aussie Open for doubles, as is rumoured, what will that mean to you to help say a farewell alongside your mate?

Yeah weíll wait and see. Weíll see how my body is going first Iíve got to try and get on the singles court, but yeah if we did play doubles it would be nice. We played doubles, got a wild card at Wimbledon which was fantastic to play in the main draw there for him. For him if he can play one more Australian Open doubles alongside myself it would be a lot of fun.

Weíre used to seeing you team up with Alicia Molik, now Jarmila Gajdosova a new partner, how do you feel about her and how do you think sheíll go?

Yeah not a lot, I havenít spent a lot of time around her. Iíve seen her play some matches though and she hits the ball extremely well. Sheís a great ball striker; she moves well, sheís strong out there. Sheís got to hit a lot of winners but sheís got to cut out her unforced errors I think a little bit as well and thatís probably the main part of her game - to take that next step from 32, 35 in the world to getting into the top 20, top 15 in the world. But sheís dangerous, I wouldnít write her off against anyone and Iím looking forward to playing the mixed doubles with her.

Have you had the opportunity to set some goals heading into the Aus summer?

No, nothing.

Youíre just going to go out there and play and take it as it comes?

Yeah basically. Iím a wild card so there are no expectations on me.

Youíve counted up 6 years here, what have you learnt from the team environment and representing Australia and that side of things?

Well obviously Davis Cup pressure wise, you donít get any bigger than that, so I thrive on playing in those situations and every time I come to Perth Iím fortunate the crowd has been fantastic in the support that the Australian team always gets. Itís a lot of fun going out there and playing and it would have been nice to have won it at some stage Ė weíre outsiders this year but weíll see what happens.

Can you do it?

Oh weíve got an outside chance. If Gjada goes out there and plays the way that she can then thereís no reason why she canít win most of her matches in our group, and if I can win the odd match then that would be nice.

Just looking ahead to the Australia Open, youíre a pretty good judge on how whoís going to go well. Who do you think will win on both sides of the draw?

Well I only care about the men so Iíll only give you that one. Djokovic is obviously the form guy, you know I think he would have had plenty of time to get over his shoulder niggles that he was having at the end of this year. Heís played extremely well on the Australian hard courts. He played well here in Perth last year. Heíll be the guy to beat. Roger has obviously stepped up to the mark again Ė he should have knocked off Novak in the semiís of the US Open and hasnít lost a match since, so heís obviously played extremely well in Australia as well. You can never count Raffa out, so theyíre obviously the main three. Itís the usual four at the moment with Andy Murray sort of just behind them. Thereís dangerous floaters out there as well and some of the young guys coming up, so weíll just wait and see.

And just on your time off the court does a period like that really fuel your hunger to get out there and enjoy it as much as possible?

Yeah it depends; you sort of see where your motivation is at. I guess when youíre not playing and youíre seeing other guys out there competing and playing it really depends how much you want to go out there and still be a part of it. Iíve obviously got a beautiful wife and three kids now as well to look after, but the motivation is still there for me to go out there and compete otherwise I wouldnít be doing it.

Is thatís what is driving you now, considering your pushing through an injury and pain?

Iím probably more motivated now than even a couple of years ago really. Sometimes you just go through the motions a little bit I think, and you take everything for granted. Right at the moment, this situation, and the rest of my body feels unbelievable. Itís just been this sort of niggling foot injury and if I can get over that then Iíll 100% totally and fully committed to doing all the right things. Hopefully thatís just around the corner.

There have been those retirement talks. Do you feel you can go around again and what challenges does this year pose for you?

Retirement talks have been around since I was 26, because I was a ten year veteran by then, so for me itís just a load of rubbish. I go out there and do my job and Iím fortunate that Iím in a sport that I can choose when I want to stop when the time is right.

So Lleyton you have never had a set time or never thought about a particular age at all when you want to retire?

No.

This is the last Hopman Cup in the Dome Ė how great would it be for the Aussies to take it out?

Yeah it would be nice. Once again though, you people in Perth have been saying that for seven or eight years now, I keep coming back and itís still here. So Iím not holding my breath that weíll be playing anywhere different next year.
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Default Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

January 10, 2012, R32

Lleyton Hewitt

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES,

V. TROICKI/L. Hewitt
4‑6, 6‑3, 6‑2


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. You must have been very pleased after the first five games, that run between there when you were up a break in the second set. You played some terrific tennis.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I played well. There was a lot positive to take out of the match. Yeah, he's a tough competitor. He doesn't give you too many cheap points you out there. He's got a very big serve.
So I felt like I started getting into more of his service games. Obviously from the start I had never hit with or never played against him before, so took me a little while to read his game.
But, yeah, then I thought I was really in. My serve just went off a little bit when I was up that set and a break about halfway through that second set. That let me down a little bit, and then I just couldn't find my rhythm then throughout the third set on my serve.
He picked up his first serve percentage, and that made it a lot tougher for me.

Q. You were competitive in Perth, and here you're getting the wins. Do you feel frustrated?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Ah, it's a little bit frustrating. But as I said, I didn't come to Perth or here with the highest expectations. It was to try and get match hardened as much as possible.
Sure, I would've liked another match or two here for sure. But all said and done, I felt like any movements got better throughout the Hopman Cup. Then I think tonight was the best I moved‑‑ better than I moved in the Hopman Cup, which is a positive, because obviously my movement is such a big part of my game, so...

Q. During the course of a three‑set match, does your movement stay the same?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Pretty much I think tonight, yeah. You know, obviously it's going to be tougher next week over five sets as well.
Hopefully the next few days I just acclimatize to the conditions in Melbourne. Depending on who I play there, hopefully I come out and play well.

Q. Do you want to try to get a match at Kooyong or anything?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, no.

Q. In terms of the toe, where do you put it at? 95%?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know.

Q. Hard to put a number on it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, very hard.

Q. Is it fairly better than the first match at Hopman?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's no worse. That's probably the biggest positive out of it. If I played anywhere first match against Verdasco and couldn't walk the next day that was going to be a worry, but it hasn't got any worse.

Q. What do you do to recover? Ice the toe?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Um, few different things.

Q. Painful?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Sometimes. (Smiling.)

Q. Is it something that could go at any time? It's a bit of an unknown in the back of your mind?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not sure of that either. It's very hard to put your finger on at the moment. Yeah, just trying to battle away as well as possible.

Q. Do you see yourself back here next year. Do you think you got another year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: At the moment I would like to. Yeah, at the moment I would. Obviously my focus is on the Aussie Open next week.
To tell you the truth, we got that and then two weeks later, a week and a half later the Davis Cup in Geelong. I haven't looked past.
You know, I've been trying two get my body as close to 100% as possible for those two things.

Q. Both Sam and Jelena have spoke about the pressure of winning in Australia. Both said they thought it very was tough here. As someone who has had success here yourself, can you understand what they're talking about?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think everyone is different. See, I love it. 2005 year was unbelievable. I came here and everyone expected me to play well, and I won Sydney and played exceptional tennis the whole week there.
Then went to Melbourne and just rode a wave for two weeks. As I've said many times, I think it was the toughest Grand Slam draw that I've ever had, seven matches in a row against the guys that I had.
To come through to the final and be two sets away from winning the tournament, you know, I think I handled the pressure reasonably well.

Q. You feed off it. You understand how it can work the other way?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I mean, it comes back to personalities and situations, I think. Yeah, Andy Murray handles it pretty well in London.
You know, everyone says he hasn't won a slam yet, but keep making semifinals, you're giving yourself a chance every time.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:19 PM   #304
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Default Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

January 15, 2012

Lleyton Hewitt

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

THE MODERATOR: First question for Lleyton.


Q. How does it feel to be going into an Australian Open without the same sort of expectations there have been in previous years for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it doesn't really change a lot, though. You still go in, yeah, focus on your firstround match. Just like anything else, try and prepare as well as possible. I think I've done that.

The last few days have been good. Had some good, tough hitouts with quality players on Rod Laver Arena out there. I feel like I got a bit of confidence in the last couple of days.

Q. What do you know about your opponent?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not a lot. I never played him. Never hit with him. He obviously had his breakout year last year. Yeah, I think he's going to get better as a player obviously. I think he's about 21 years old. He's going to get better.

I found out a bit about him just speaking to a few people, looking into a few things. Yeah, that's the good thing about playing over five sets, it gives you a little bit of time to work your opponent out out there.

Q. Do you watch any sort of video on a guy like that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I've seen a little bit, yeah. I've seen enough.

Q. How is your mindset? How are you feeling in yourself, confidence, body coming to this event?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I feel all right. Yeah, it would have been nice to get a few more matches. But I think the matches that I lost, the three matches the last couple weeks, have been against quality guys, around 20 in the world or just inside. They were all tough threeset matches. That was a good thing leading into the potential of playing four, or fiveset matches. That gave me a bit more confidence in the back of my mind to at least have played those tough guys in those situations.

It would be nice to win in straight sets, but that's not always going to be the case.

Q. What do you think you need to do to take the extra step to beating those guys?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, you know, it's just hard. I haven't played a lot of matches. It was purely getting in those tough situations, I guess, of serving breakpoints down, playing the big points well, 30All points, stuff like that. I felt like, you know, against Troicki in Sydney, I ended up playing some really good tennis late in the first set, the start of the second set. Wasn't quite able to consolidate the break in the second set.

If I can go out and sort of extend on how I played the end of that first set and second set, hopefully that will hold me in good stead this week.

Q. How is the foot? Do you have to do anything to help and safeguard it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I do a little bit of work every day on it, yeah.

Q. What about special shoes?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, no.

Q. 10 years ago you came here as a defending Grand Slam champion. This year you come here as a wild card. A lot has happened in between that time. How different is that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not that different. As I said before, the first question, when I come to Grand Slams or big tournaments anyway, you're sort of in your own bubble a little bit. You're not worried about the outside talk or what it's really about. You're doing everything in your power just to be as ready as possible.

You know, this week has been no different. Rochey and I and my team behind me, we've done everything we can to obviously get my body and ballstriking and everything in as good a nick as possible, and it would have been the same 10 years ago.

Q. Is this the hardest slam? Big break at the end of the year. Difficult to come here without a lot of matches.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. It's slightly different for me because I've obviously been in Australia throughout December training in these conditions. It is in some ways. French Open, playing on clay, is pretty tough to go out and win seven bestoffiveset matches in those conditions.

Q. As somebody who backed up a No. 1 season at one time in your career, talk about what Djokovic is going through here, what you think the challenges of that are and how he will fare?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I think he'll fare pretty good. He's a standout, except the last few weeks of last year when he was a bit fatigued, a bit tired at the end of the year. Obviously Roger stepped up, was feeling a bit fresher.

When the big tournaments were there to be won last year, he was the standout player. He's definitely the guy to beat going into this year. I think this kind of surface suits his game pretty well, too, here in Melbourne.

You know, it's going to be hard for everyone coming up against Novak.

Q. How about the year ahead for you? Do you still have the same hunger for the game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely at the moment. Yeah, we got a Davis Cup tie a couple weeks after this in Geelong. Most of my focus has been on trying to get the body right and get some matches before coming in here to Melbourne. I haven't really focused on where I'm going and playing too much after here right at the moment.

Q. With this being an Olympic year, especially it being at Wimbledon where you've had a lot of success in the past, is that a goal for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It would be nice to play there if I get the chance. If I'm feeling fully fit, obviously. Yeah, Wimbledon is a special place to play anytime. But obviously, you know, first Olympics to play on grass. It's probably my favorite surface, as well, to play on. There's not a whole lot of guys that play extremely well on grass either.

Yeah, it would be great anytime to play for Australia.

Q. You had a lot of success playing doubles early in your career. With you and Sam Stosur being elite doubles players, is that a partnership you would consider if that was a way for you to compete?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I haven't even thought about it, mate. I'd be going for men's doubles before mixed.

Q. Why would you make that choice?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Guccione and I have played some pretty good doubles recently. We beat two guys named Federer and Wawrinka last time we played on the same surface we play Wimbledon on. I reckon that should give us a bit of confidence.

Q. Were you at the players meeting yesterday and can you tell us how the players are feeling about the scheduling and prize money issues?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I was there for a bit. Yeah, I'm not going to go into it right now, though. Right at the moment I'm here to focus on the Australian Open. For me it's not a big deal right at the moment.

Q. A branding question. You're wearing a hat with your signature move on it. They were selling them in Perth. Is this a merchandising line you're trying to do?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I just thought it would look good for me (smiling).
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AUSTRALIAN OPEN

January 17, 2012, R128

Lleyton Hewitt

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

L. HEWITT/C. Stebe
7‑5, 6‑4, 3‑6, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. Very tough match. Give us your thoughts on the way you got through it.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was always going to be tough no matter who I played. I just haven't played a lot of matches.

Yeah, he's a quality player. He's a lot better than what his ranking is at the moment. He had his breakthrough year last year, played very well towards the end of the year. I spoke to quite a few guys in the locker room and stuff after the draw came out. A lot of people spoke very highly of him.

He's had quality wins against Davydenkos, and Ferreros in big ATP events.

I knew he was going to be dangerous. Conditions probably suited him out there. Quite slow conditions. So it gave him a little bit more time. He just sort of has big cuts from both sides.

Q. Can you talk about the adrenaline rush you still get from playing out on a major court in a Grand Slam, especially at home.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's fantastic. You would have seen a lot of the crowd really lifted towards the end of the fourth set there when I started to get back into that set and they could sense that he was getting a little bit tight trying to close it out and going to a fifth as well.

Yeah, feelings like that you can't buy. Until you're one of the players out there experiencing it, it is a massive adrenaline rush.

Q. What about the match coming up against Andy Roddick? Must be looking forward to that one.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I haven't even thought about it yet. Yeah, obviously when the draw came out, I knew that Andy was a possibility.

But, you know, I haven't played that much matches, so all my focus was on this guy. I knew absolutely nothing about him really going into tonight.

Obviously it's not quite the case with Andy now. Don't really have to ask around too much to find out what Andy's strengths and weaknesses are.

Q. Are you confident you are able to beat Andy?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'll give him a good run. See what happens.

Q. Do you feel that you benefited from some of his inexperience? He never challenged when you broke in the 11th game of the first set. On the TV screen, the ball was in.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. He challenged a lot, as well, got 'em wrong. You know, I don't know. You don't just challenge all the time for the sake of it.

Obviously off his racquet, he felt it was wide, as well. I mean, I don't know.

Q. You've been playing Andy Roddick for over a decade now. Talk about how his game has evolved over the years.

LLEYTON HEWITT: His strengths are still pretty much the same. Obviously his serve's his biggest strength. For a big guy he moves well. From the back of the court his forehand is probably stronger than his backhand.

Yeah, he's obviously capable of coming to the net, too. He's an allcourt player. He's probably added to his net game a little bit more since the first time I played him, whatever, when he was a 19, 20yearold, whatever it was. He's a complete player.

Q. Do you think his net game is the biggest change in the last 10 years?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to say. I think he's tried at times a little bit more. He's tried servevolleying, taken some pace, servevolleying in there. I think with different coaches he's tried different things.

I don't really know. He played his best when he won the US Open at a young age. He played pretty well. He played pretty good the Wimbledons when he made the finals. Came awfully close to winning that one against Rog.

Q. Do you have some empathy with Sam Stosur who doesn't seem to be able to play at her best in front of her home crowd?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's tough, I guess. I don't know. I don't know if there's a secret to it, though. I think some people  you know, you look at a guy like Tomic obviously, and he thrives in that situation.

I think that I've enjoyed obviously playing Davis Cup. It's very hard once I guess the snowball sort of keeps building, the pressure and expectations get more and more, it's a hard thing to turn around.

There's no doubt Sam hasn't you know, for the last probably three years I played her in the Hopman Cup in Perth, three or four years ago now. I think she's played her best tennis for sure since then when she was really a top10 player.

Q. You had a tough year with injuries. You moved well. How is the body feeling?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not too bad. It was pretty good. I got better from the Hopman Cup. In Sydney I moved better against Troicki.

Tonight I think I moved the best that I moved all summer, which is a positive. Obviously, we played about four hours out there.

Q. Do you have any thoughts on your bad record against Roddick and what you might have to do to turn that around?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I'll just go out there and see what happens. You know, he's obviously a quality player. A couple of those matches have been extremely tight. Obviously, the Grand Slam at Wimbledon could have gone either way, fifth set.

Played him a couple times at Memphis, won the first set and lost three in tight threesetters there, as well. Just haven't been able to get those one or two points against him when I needed them.

Q. Like it to be at night again, if possible?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Whatever. I don't really care. I've got doubles tomorrow. Got to focus on that.

Q. You played a lot of night matches on Laver. You almost always go second. Tonight you were first. How does that compare for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: 7:00, you know when you're going to be on. I don't really want to have too many of the Baghdatis matches again. Go home and McDonald's is already open on the way home for breakfast.

Yeah, it's nice. The girls can do that for a change (laughter).

Q. Do you like the combined events or you not that much of a fan?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I haven't been on tour. I haven't really played anymore. I think the ATP is pretty strong by itself right at the moment.
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AUSTRALIAN OPEN

January 19, 2012, R64

Lleyton Hewitt

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

L. HEWITT/A. Roddick
3‑6, 6‑3, 6‑4 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: First question for Lleyton, please.


Q. Did you sense anything before the extended injury time halfway through the second set that there was something wrong with your opponent?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I wasn't sure. After I broke serve in the second set, the next game I hit a pretty good shot to get up 3015. Sort of went back in behind him. He sort of pulled up a little bit lame after that.

So after we went on, I didn't notice anything. I didn't hear him call for the trainer straightaway while the game was still going. Obviously he called for the trainer at the change of ends.

But it's hard playing. Mentally, it was one of my better performances tonight throughout my career. To keep your mind ticking over the whole time isn't easy. It would have been a lot easier if you weren't playing a big server, he could keep holding his serve out there because there was obviously nothing wrong with his shoulder.

Yeah, that was hard. That's probably the biggest positive to take out of tonight.

Q. Other players when they have shortened matches will get on the treadmill. Are you likely to do anything tonight?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. I just do all the rehab and everything that I'd normally do. We still played twoandahalf hours or whatever it was anyway. There were a lot of long rallies out there.

But physically I was really happy with how my body pulled up today after playing four hours, a long four setter a couple nights ago. Just because I haven't played a lot of tennis, you're never sure how it's going to pull up. But I was pretty happy tonight.

Q. Is the doubles complementing your fitness at this stage?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not playing it for fitness. It's just a bit of fun to go out there. I was pretty stoked to get the win with Pete yesterday. Yeah, we'll look forward to tomorrow's match.

Q. Can you talk about what it's mentally like when you know your opponent is hurt, trying to have the killer instinct to finish him off?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Kind of like what I just said there. It's hard. It's a tough situation for anyone. It's more of a mental game than physical.

Even tacticswise, it's not easy as well because you start thinking  you're in two minds with what you're going to do out there. As I said with my interview with Courier after the match, at one end it was against the breeze, uphill a little bit. It was harder to dictate Andy from the back of the court at that end. From the end with the breeze, I felt like obviously I could move him around and put him under a bit more pressure.

As I said before, playing Andy with such a big serve, he's still able to go out there and swing at the hips, hold his serve and put pressure on you.

Q. Did you notice him doing anything to change his tactics, make points shorter when he was hurt?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not a whole lot. You know, he obviously a couple times went for slightly bigger forehands and stuff on the run.

It was frustrating obviously that last game. I was 54 up, I had opportunities. He sort of went all or nothing at 1540, at 53, and then at 54 he played three good points and put me Love40 down. I had to dig deep and serve extremely well to get out of that game and close out that set.

As I said, it's more a mental battle than physical ones.

Q. It seems your emotions are a lot more raw.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Raw?

Q. You celebrated strongly with your firstround win. Your emotions seem different.

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I'm always pretty excited to win any match at the Australian Open. Yeah, might be more purely because, you know, a few months ago, I come back from foot surgery, you know, wasn't even 100 percent sure I would be able to play maybe.

Obviously, come here, do all the right things, just excited to be out there.

Q. You seem to be freer with your emotions. You're enjoying it, by the looks.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know about freer. I'm just as tight on breakpoints, big points as I've ever been. It's still the same nerves out there.

Q. How do you feel your game is coming along?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I was pretty happy with the way I hit the ball tonight. Even the first set, it was only that couple of points. I was up in that game 4015. I actually hit a great forehand, hit the tape, didn't go quite over. Had him beaten there and would have held serve.

I felt like from that point I played a pretty clean match overall. When he broke me back early in the third set, I didn't do a whole lot wrong. He sort of stepped up, swung at the hips a little bit on some of the early points to get ahead in that game.

But, yeah, I thought I hit the ball pretty clean.

Q. Your serve? Obviously you had the problem. You served more aces against him first time in your career.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I served well in patches tonight. A couple of times I didn't quite make enough first serves, especially at the end against the breeze. That gave him the opportunity to step in on the second serve and dictate. I would have liked a little bit higher percentage of first serves.

In terms of hitting the target when I needed to, I served pretty well. The reason he didn't get quite as many first serves, I think I returned pretty well. I was reading his serve quite well out there tonight.

Q. You said a few times you would have liked a few more games in the summer. Do you feel like you're getting better at hitting it cleaner?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. I think the more matches you get, the better. It's no secret, I didn't play many matches last year. To expect to come out and play against these guys, they played right through the end until some of them early December, you know, it's totally different on the practice court to the match court. So, yeah, so far everything has gone okay.

Q. Milos, you haven't played him before, but you would have seen him during the year. What does he bring to the table for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I've only seen him a little bit. Early on obviously the Australian Open last year I saw a little bit. He played very well in San Jose and Memphis early on in the year, winning his first title in San Jose. He's a dangerous player. He's similar in some regards to Andy, same as tonight.

I haven't even thought about the match. Tomorrow I'll start focusing obviously on it after the doubles and get ready. But, yeah, I'll be more focusing on my game, obviously trying to take away some of his power.

Q. Is there a special degree of sympathy you have with Roddick in this situation?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, yeah. Andy's a great competitor. He always has been. He's similar to me. He plays with his heart on his sleeve out there on the court. He has that neversaydie attitude as well. It's never easy to play injured or to pull out of a match. It's not a good feeling.
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AUSTRALIAN OPEN

January 21, 2012

Lleyton Hewitt

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

L. HEWITT/M. Raonic
4‑6, 6‑3, 7‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. You looked really emotional after you won tonight. Why does this mean so much to you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, well, you know, obviously a couple of months ago, I didn't know if I'd be able to play. Yeah, obviously I didn't play much tennis last year. I always wanted to play this tournament. I've done a lot of hard work. It's only my close friends and team that know what we've done to get here.

Yeah, that's probably why it's very satisfying.

Q. Is there a degree of disbelief winning this match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I never write myself off. So, no, not really.

Q. Milos said the pressure from you tonight was consistent. Was that the plan, to try to grind him out?

LLEYTON HEWITT: As much as possible. It's never easy playing guys like Milos or, you know, Roddick, big servers. For quite a while they'll go through their service games, if they're making their first serves, it's hard to get into those games and put much pressure on. It's about trying to build as much pressure as possible.

The games I was able to break, in the second set he hit a couple loose shots purely because I was getting his first serve back. Yeah, you just have to find a way of getting it back sometimes. As the match went on, I started returning a lot better.

The game I broke early in the fourth set was a great game. I started off, hit a 215, 220 or something serve. I hit it at his shoelaces to start the game. I really tried to step it up as the match went on.

Q. Talk about the third‑set tiebreak.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was ebbing and flowing sort of both ways. I was on serve. I probably had a small opportunity. I was in one of his service points early on. We changed ends at 3‑All.

Then I played really well to get up 6‑3 serving. Just couldn't quite find the spot. I hit one first serve in. The other one I missed the first serve.

He played a little bit more aggressive on those two points, sort of went for it a little bit. Then at 6‑5, I got a little bit lucky obviously with him missing a high volley.

But under pressure, nothing's easy out there.

Q. Do you think he didn't know when to go for it and when not to? He obviously had to attack. Did you feel that he was nervous about attacking you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. As I said, like the last game, even when I had match points there, I didn't play bad points. I made him come up with unbelievable shots. He was sort of going for a lot more when he was down.

But, you know, he's human as well. He got a bit tight in the tiebreak there. I just, you know, felt like I had to put as much pressure on as possible, especially if he missed his first serve. I really had to stand in and try to take it to him on his second serve, try and win a lot of those points.

Q. Rochey looked nervous sitting up in the box. What did he say after the match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think he was pretty proud of me and the effort that I gave. Yeah, Rochey and I, he's not just my coach, he's one of my best mates. Yeah, it means a lot to him, as well.

Q. You mentioned that final game. When he had the advantage, you pulled out the big serve, what sort of confidence does that give you going into a match against a player like Djokovic?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know (smiling). I wasn't thinking about Novak when I hit that serve. I was just thinking about trying to get out of an awkward situation.

So, you know, obviously I went for it and it paid off at the time. I served pretty well in that last game. Even the match points I had, I made my first serves. As I said, he's got a long wingspan out there. Even when you hit a good first serve, he's able somehow to get a return back in play and he would float it deep, then you're sort of back in the point with him. That was obviously a key serve to come up with that good one.

Q. How do you consider your form at the moment compared to 12 months ago? What do you think you're going to need to improve on for your next match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, it's hard to say in terms of form. Yeah, had match point last year on Nalbandian and didn't quite win.

I won Kooyong the week before, was playing pretty well coming in last year. I wasn't in bad form last year, and I had a lot more matches under my belt than this year. I don't think a lot of people would have given me a lot of hope when the draw came out to be in the fourth round going into the second week.

I've done everything right so far, laid it all out on the line.

Q. Were there any signs of inexperience you noticed on his end?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. You know, I think from what I saw from him not only in the Australian Open last year but San Jose and Memphis, really the only time I saw him play, yeah, he's pretty experienced. He's got a good head on his shoulders in terms of tennis knowledge.

Obviously when you have such firepower as he does, it's pretty easy to go out there and have a go on your opponent's serve because he's going to hold serve so many times.

Q. You said most people wouldn't have expected you to get this far. How about within yourself?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I was hitting the ball well in practice. It was a matter of the body more than anything. Yeah, wasn't an easy draw. Steeb in the first round, I didn't know much about him. He's a helluva lot better player than where his ranking is at the moment. Then obviously Roddick and Raonic. So it hasn't been easy.

Yeah, it's pleasing to win matches like that over five sets.

Q. What about Djokovic, do you give yourself a shot at that one?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'll prepare as well as possible again. I'll do all the right things. Yeah, he's the No. 1 player in the world for a reason at the moment. I'm going to enjoy going out there and having a crack.

Q. Do you think the kids will watch the tape of this match in the morning?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know. My son might still be up watching it. I don't know.

Q. Did you prove something to yourself or is that like always?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Did I prove, did you say?

Q. Prove something to yourself.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think in terms of how much pain and stuff I played with last year, it's really only my team and people close to me and probably the Davis Cup boys sort of know what I've had to deal with.

So, yeah, it's pleasing to come through like I have the last three matches.

Q. Do you credit Luczak for the doubles yesterday? A good hit out for this game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know if that's the reason I won tonight. Yeah, it was good fun, it really was. He's one of my best mates. It meant a lot to go out there and be on the court for his last match.

Yeah, it was special. Didn't matter if we won or lost. We had fun out there. We competed. It was a great atmosphere. We actually played pretty well. We came pretty close to winning the second set. He reckoned he deliberately lost it so I didn't have to waste another set of energy. But, no, it was good. It was really good.
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AUSTRALIAN OPEN

January 23, 2012, R16

Lleyton Hewitt

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

N. DJOKOVIC/L. Hewitt
6‑1, 6‑3, 4‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. That was a huge fight after the first two sets. How were you feeling on the court? Do you think maybe you were this close to winning?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, the first two sets, I went down an early break in the third, he was playing too well. He wasn't making any unforced errors and he was hitting the ball aggressively from the baseline. His depth was exceptional.

Yeah, I just tried to hang in there and, you know, press a little bit more, take my chances. I was able to, you know, turn that third set around and got a couple of errors out of him at a couple of crucial times to get the break late in the third set.

Then, you know, it would have been nice to break to go 2‑1 up in the fourth set because I started to have a bit more momentum going at that stage. And he went through a slightly flat period. But then he picked his game up again towards the end of the fourth set.

Q. How much did winning that third set mean to you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, you know, it was obviously satisfying because, yeah, he was playing exceptional tennis. I was still able to find a way to get, you know, back in the match in some regards, at least put some pressure on him.

Yeah, his moving, his ball striking, his serving was fantastic for two‑and‑a‑half sets.

Q. Could you sense what has improved in his game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I played him Hopman Cup, last time I played him last year, and he played sensational in that match as well. I said at the time it's going to take a helluva performance for someone to beat him at the Australian Open a couple weeks after that.

I was pretty spot on, because no one could really go with him here last year. Obviously the year he had was exceptional. Right at the moment, the way he started this year, I think that exhibition wherever he played before coming here is the only thing he played in the Middle East. He's hitting the ball awfully well so far.

Q. You've been No. 1. You've defended Grand Slam titles. Can you talk about what that pressure is like, what that feels like? It's kind of new for him.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't think there's a lot of added pressure. It's always a fantastic feeling to walk back somewhere where you've won before. Going back there, it brings back all the great memories from the year before.

I'd prefer to be in that situation than not have it.

Q. You had that situation in Wimbledon where that didn't turn out well.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, but you'd still take it. It's better going back as the defending champion than losing in the final the year before.

Q. With the fourth set, do you feel you could have done anything different in hindsight?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not a lot. The start of the fourth set I had a small opportunity, but he came up with a big first serve. I got actually into the point, but I couldn't get on top of that point. He sort of had me running, so I was defending for that point. He hit the ball too deep for me to get the break there, so...

Q. After such a tournament, what are your expectations for the upcoming tournaments?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know yet. Last few months, I've just really been focusing on trying to get as much out of myself as possible this Australian summer, more so here in Melbourne.

Yeah, now I'll focus on that. But right at the moment, I don't know.

Q. Overall would you say you're happy with how far you've come?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Considering where I was a few months ago, three or four months ago, yeah, it's a pretty good effort.

Q. What were your feelings when you left the court tonight with this atmosphere?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It was a great atmosphere. Towards the end of the third set and the whole fourth set, the crowd got involved in it. It's great. They're the moments you play tennis for, to be out there in those situations.

So it's obviously disappointing anytime you lose. But I left it all on the court. That's all I could ask.

Q. Are you switching over to do TV work again this year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I will do some at some stage, yeah.

Q. Did you take any extra time when you left the court tonight? Did you feel like that's probably it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I didn't take any extra time.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:27 PM   #309
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French Open

May 28, 2012, R128

Lleyton Hewitt

B. Kavcic/L. Hewitt
7-6 6-3 6-7 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. You made a lot unforced errors, but your movement and everything else looked reasonably good.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I had to start somewhere. Yeah, I'm sure tomorrow I'll pull up pretty sore. Yeah, it was good for a lot reasons to go out there and play.
Yeah, lasted nearly four hours and physically felt fine. Pretty amazing too when you haven't played any matches on this surface.
There are positives to take out of it, and more so probably confidence moving wise. With the surgery I didn't know how I was going to come back.

Q. So that was most pleasing aspect, the way you moved?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I wasn't 100% moving, but a lot of it is in your mind too. I've been compensating for the last couple of years, so you've sort of got to change your mindset as well out there.
In some ways this is a tough surface to come back on in terms of moving wise, because your moving is so the points are so much longer and you're getting stretched and back behind a lot more than probably a grass or hardcourt.

Q. So of the positives that you take from today, what are you going to work on between now and grass court season?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just keep hitting basically. Obviously moving is going to be totally different, but at least it was nice, yeah, not to have pain. It was a good thing.
So, yeah, the last couple of years every practice, every match has been painful. It's more just adjusting now to the mechanics that I've got.

Q. You are rich, pretty famous. How do you get the motivation to keep fighting to spend four hours on a small court against a guy not so famous and put your guts on the court?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, you know, after you come back from surgery, I was still hungry enough to have a shot. I feel like the last couple of years has been ruined by surgeries and trying to come back and playing within injections and the works.
This was a last effort surgery that I had straight after the Australian Open. I don't know, a lot of people didn't think it could be done, and here I am at a Grand Slam.

Obviously there is a lot of different motivations. Wimbledon is obviously a priority for me in a couple of week's time. Today was about coming here and physically getting ready for that, I guess, and playing five sets.
We've got a Davis Cup tie on clay in September that's in the back of my mind as well.

Q. You and the whole New Balls generation, you conquered the world of tennis. Why do you think it's not happening now? Why are there no young players in the top? It's just a problem of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic playing that good, or it's deeper?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, they're playing pretty well at the moment. Yeah, apart from Tomic, Dimitrov, Harrison, there is not a lot of other 19 , 20 year olds out there.
But, yeah, obviously those top four guys have sort of made a pretty big statement. It's pretty hard to crack into there is as teenager, I reckon.

Q. Have doctors told you you'll be pain free for the rest of your career in terms of your toe now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's different. There will be probably be little other niggles more than anything, but the actual spot where I had surgery will be pain free, yes.

Q. It's a bit of a miracle, isn't it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, it's probably the one surgeon I went to and trusted that sort of gave me any chance.

Q. Same one as the hip?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not the hip. He did my foot last year.

Q. Just following on from that, is it the surgery that allows to you play pain free, or do you have injections or therapy or anything?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No injections. No one would give me more anyway. That was just to get through the Australian summer. It was ridiculous.
Yeah, after that that was it. I had to bite the bullet. Yeah, so it was a last ditch effort. Hopefully it gets better and better from here and I get more used to it as well.

Q. I just wanted to you ask you what makes the French Open so special? What is unique about it, apart from the clay compared to the other Grand Slams?

LLEYTON HEWITT: (Smiling.) The scores are in French. I don't understand. I've got to look up at the scoreboard to know what the score is.
No, it's a different Grand it has a different feel, a lot more European feel, I guess, here; whereas Wimbledon it's obviously the more traditional feel.
Out of all the slams, I probably get more of a difference at the three other slams compared to the French. I think what they're unique stands out a lot more than the French to me.

Q. You talked about Tomic. People say he has a bright future. How bright? What do you think?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to tell. Yeah, he's high 20s in the world at the moment. You know, French Open is not going to be his best Grand Slam by no means.
Yeah, he can definitely push those guys. Everyone saw that at Wimbledon last year.
His biggest strength is that he's a big match player.

Q. Do you see any other successors of your Australian legacy?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He's obviously the standout at the movement. You've got James Duckworth, Ben Mitchell, Luke Saville after that. But they're a bit of a way off from Bernhard at the moment.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:31 PM   #310
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AEGON CHAMPIONSHIPS

June 12, 2012

Lleyton Hewitt

LONDON, ENGLAND

I. KARLOVIC/L. Hewitt
6‑3, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. So 22 aces in 9 service games. Makes it quite tough?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was frustrating, to say the least. Yeah, right from the start I felt like I was actually seeing the ball not bad out there, especially the returns that I could get my racquet on.
Yeah, and then obviously the pressure just builds on your service games, and he's sort of just lashing at shots left, right, and center.
You know, I didn't serve my best. You know, his serving like that puts a lot more pressure on you, as well. All my service games are lost. I'm pretty sure I was at least 30‑Love in all of them.
So the three service games that I lost, thereabouts, I just didn't close it out. That comes with match toughness, but there was very little I could do on his service games.

Q. Him serving like that, it doesn't really give you a chance to get into your game, does it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, it doesn't give you a chance to do a lot of things. You can't assess where you're at at the moment. You know, I can't assess my movement. Yeah, so it's just a frustrating day, all up.

Q. I suppose that the next question is what do you do next? Do you perhaps play somewhere else? Try and get more matches in somewhere else?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably not. No, at this stage I'm playing at least a couple of matches at Hurlingham next week. I haven't spoken to Rochey about that in particular yet, but I can't see that changing at the moment.

Q. Are you hoping to get in the Olympics?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'd like a wildcard if it comes up.

Q. Have you had a chat with...

LLEYTON HEWITT: I haven't personally. I'm sure Tennis Australia have.

Q. How have you been hitting in practice?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Pretty well. That's the frustrating thing. You know, obviously I felt ‑‑as soon as I got on the grass I felt pretty comfortable. Yeah, this week has been a lot tougher to get grass court time, but the week before I was able to get a fair amount of grass court time. I felt comfortable.
Yeah, it didn't take me long to, you know, adjust, which was good. Yeah, obviously, yeah, match play and playing break points and stuff like that is all different, practice than matches, but I felt like it was coming along pretty well. It was probably a frustrating draw that you can't go out there and get some rhythm.

Q. You have never really had much luck with draws, have you? What were you thinking when you saw the draw on this occasion?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, yeah, there were plenty of better draws for me to get some matches I guess under my belt. Yeah, it's not really a tennis match in some ways when you're playing against a guy like that.
The rallies and the skill in the other form of the game is totally out of your control. So, yeah, it's just one of those matches, one of those days.

Q. Are you excited about Wimbledon approaching? Ten years since you won there and you got a wildcard today. Are you pumped for that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. After the surgery, that was obviously my main aim, to try and get back as quickly as possible. But Wimbledon was the focus.
So, yeah, it would have been nice to get a couple of matches, yeah, more under my belt, but, you know, if there's one place you feel like things can open up for you, it's probably there for me. It's always nice being around the place and practicing there, and I'm fortunate enough I can walk in there as a member. Yeah, it's the best tournament there is.

Q. Are you planning to use that membership between now and the start of the tournament?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I have been using it the last two weeks. It works well for me. I can sit in there and have a cup of tea with all the other members.

Q. Does a member have to apply for a wildcard?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I still did just in case. I could have forgot.

Q. But you have been there for a couple of times recently just to...

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just hanging out with all my mates, yeah. (Laughter.)

Q. Got a few there, have you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a lot of them. We have a joke and it's nice.

Q. What are your sort of hopes for Wimbledon? Do you still consider yourself to be among the few genuine grass courters who can make a great run?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, for me the focus, obviously wherever I'm going to be in the draw, yeah, you're going to come up against a seed in the first, second, third round at least, probably the first two rounds for me, obviously.
So, yeah, it's a matter of taking those chances when you get them. Grass court tennis is like that. Sometimes it's a more mental game than physical, because there are only one or two points in a whole five‑set match that can turn in tiebreaks or tight situations.
So, yeah, obviously those top four or five guys, yeah, they're way above everyone else right at the moment, but if you can put yourself in a moment to go out there, and I still feel likeif I'm hitting the ball as well as I can be and moving well, then I can still put some pressure on a lot of the guys in the draw.

Q. I wonder what you thought ‑I'm sure you watched the French Open final ‑ what you currently think of Djokovic and Nadal and where they've taken the game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I commentated the Australian Open finals, so it's hard to beat that. It's very hard to beat that.
Yeah, obviously to be in the last four major finals is an incredible achievement by both guys. But, yeah, I'm glad Rafa got over the line. Mentally for him to come out when‑‑ you know, he's still the favorite to go out there and win it obviously again where he's been so dominant, but, yeah, mentally you would have a lot of demons in your head losing to that bloke in so many finals last year but also the last three majors.
Yeah, it just goes to show you how tough Rafa is to come back after that Australian Open loss where he was a point away from winning that a few times, and to bounce back and win it like he did, you know, he's the best clay‑court player ever.

Q. On the point of the wildcard, how long ago did you ask for it? When did they actually let you know that you had it? Obviously it was officially announced today, but how long have you known that you've got it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: This morning. So I applied, I don't know, maybe a month ago, as soon as I knew that I was coming back from injury and was, you know, going to be able to play obviously Queen's and Wimbledon. Only found out officially this morning.

Q. Obviously the last three or four years have been difficult for you, but you've clearly worked really hard all the way through that. What's been the motivation for you? Have you had a particular goal each time?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. Not any long‑term goals, no. There is obviously short‑term goals at different stages. Yeah, last year I was trying to work to obviously getting the boys back in the Davis Cup World Group, and we came awfully close to doing that.
That's going to be another goal for the rest of this year, one of the main goals for the rest of this year. That's not going to be an easy ask again.
Then, yeah, the others, obviously Wimbledon a priority for me and then the Olympics. Yeah, if I could play, yeah, anywhere in an Olympic Games outside of Australia, I couldn't think of a better place than London for me.
It's pretty special. This would be my last Olympics. Yeah, to play on grass as well at Wimbledon is pretty special.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:36 PM   #311
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WIMBLEDON

June 26, 2012, R128

Lleyton Hewitt

LONDON, ENGLAND

J. TSONGA/L. Hewitt
6‑3, 6‑4, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton Hewitt.


Q. What did you make of that performance?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I didn't do a lot wrong really. Yeah, considering where I've come from and that, probably as good as I could have done today really.
Yeah, I don't know how many breakpoints. In the end it would have been close to ten, I reckon, something like that. Yeah, I didn't get too many looks at second serves at all and didn't get a chance to get into the point at all on any of those.
Yeah, so it would have been nice to at least build some kind of pressure on his service games, because otherwise obviously, similar to playing Karlovic, he goes around and just slaps a couple of balls on your service games and you're under the pump all of a sudden.
I felt the balls that I could get my racquet onto I returned pretty well today. I felt the sharpest I felt, but he served too well.

Q. You received a wild card for the Olympics today.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Someone just mentioned it, the ATP guys, just walking in. Obviously I've just walked off the court, so I didn't even know that.
But, yeah, next thing, back here. At least I get to play here again. It's a bonus.

Q. Are you disappointed you didn't make doubles?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Yeah, I am disappointed. I can't work that out for the life of me. I heard that, as well. I guess playing as much Davis Cup as you do doesn't count for everything.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the support you have here and being such a crowd favorite? You've won this tournament. Do you feel that Jo has what it takes to win this?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I get good support here from the Australians every time I play here. The English, as well. I've always enjoyed playing here. Had great success here and Queen's down the street, as well. The support always helps out.
Jo has a chance. He can beat Federer, came back from two sets to love down last year in a big match and beat Rog, you're putting your hand up.
The tough thing for him, deep in the tournament he's going to have to beat at least two, maybe three good players in a row probably. Yeah, he still comes a little bit in and out of matches I think mentally. But obviously if he's serving well then he's going to be very tough to beat.

Q. How confident are you that you'll be back here next year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. At the moment I've been focusing on getting back this year, doing everything right with my foot and rehab to get back to here, you know. So I'm proud of myself of what I've been able to do, all the hard work it's taken to get here. I'd like to be back here, absolutely, but we'll have to wait and see.

Q. A general question: You're a student of tennis history. If you could go back and play any of the great legends for the fun of it, what player would you enjoy playing against?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. Probably Rochey.

Q. Because of his great volleys?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just because we'd have fun on the court (smiling).

Q. When you go out fairly routinely in the first or second rounds of tournaments, does it make you want to compete more or less?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You're obviously disappointed at the time. You know, it's like missing the cut at golf, any golf tournament. I'm sure that disappointed as well to be in the business end of the of the tournament in the second week.
I can only go out there and do what I could do out there today. I didn't get handed the best draw. I'm sure there's a lot of guys in the tournament that I probably could have got through today.
That's how it feels. You bounce up, bounce back. Obviously the Olympics is the next focus, and then just take it step by step.

Q. This is the first time an Aussie hasn't been in the second round of Wimbledon since 1938. We've heard that Australian sport is on decline. Is that justified?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know about that. In terms of tennis‑wise, I can only comment on the tennis. Really obviously the boys didn't have the best day today.
But, yeah, who knows. Matchups, there's a lot of different reasons it could have been. Draws, matchups, whatever.
But at least three of us, the three guys that played today, I know we could have beat a lot of guys that are still going in the tournament. That's just how it falls.

Q. If I could invite you to talk about cricket in the Olympics as well, because obviously these are big things.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think we'll go all right in the Olympics. We've never been too afraid of the POMs, I'll say.

Q. And the cricket this summer?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, got a good skipper.

Q. We see a lot of older players playing right now, but we don't see a lot of younger players or very old players winning majors. Do you think the window of opportunity has been squeezed to a smaller age race? And if so, why?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. I don't know why. I really don't. For sure there is, at the moment, the dominance of those top three guys at the moment, and before that the top two guys: Roger and Rafa.
You know, it's hard to say there's a reason why there's not many young guys that can really push for a slam. Late teens, sort of early 20s, you can't see that many guys that are going to be in the semis of slams. I can't put my fingers on exactly why.
Yeah, there are a lot of big hitters out there these days. You look at how Jo played today. For an 18‑ or 19‑year‑old to come and play against that, that's pretty tough.

Q. Given that you don't know when you're finishing up, Lleyton, there's occasions like this that you sort of let yourself allow to look around or an extra special kind of instinct regarding...

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I was just trying to focus on hanging in the match really. Yeah, you know, I'm an athlete. You never love losing. I'm still playing the game to compete, be out there, and keep going in the tournament.
I walk off the court the same as the year I lost first round to Karlovic: disappointed and wish I was still in the event.

Q. Bernie came in before and said he hadn't been working hard enough and seemed all over the place. Do you have any advice to give to him to continue what he did in January?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't see much of his match today. I saw a couple points on the TV. The other guy looked to be playing pretty well, from what I saw. Yeah, he didn't miss too much.
Yeah, it's tough I think that sort of next year after you sort of break through to keep it up and continue doing it. Everybody obviously had massive expectations for him to do well. This is his best surface.
Even though he lost here today in the first round, he could beat a lot of guys comfortably in the first and second rounds here and push deep into the tournament.
Training‑wise I don't know what he's been doing. I wouldn't have a clue. He's obviously had a frustrating last couple of weeks.

Q. Can you share with us your memories about winning against Nalbandian?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It was fantastic. Obviously, yeah, winning the tournament was one of your dreams come true. So for me it's the biggest tournament there is.
As an Australian, so many great Australians have done well here in the past. It's one of the most special things I've ever done in my career.

Q. There's some who suggest maybe the depth on the men's tour isn't quite what it used to be. Can you talk about the depth of this group right now compared to the previous generation.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I sort of disagree. I think the depth's better now than it used to be. I reckon you saw a lot more comfortable first‑round wins in slams and even Masters Series events years ago than you do now.
Even the top three or four guys, they've got to be on their game right from the start. You know, Roger against Falla a couple years ago here in the first round. Doesn't matter who you are, so I actually disagree with that totally.

Q. Why are the top three so dominant?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Because they're so good.

Q. You're a veteran. How satisfied are you that the doping policy is working and keeping the sport clean?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I don't sit back and dwell on it too much. Yeah, you got to be I guess pretty satisfied. There's a couple things that pop up here and there, but I don't know all the in and outs of all the guys that have been done and come back. So I don't know enough about it.

Q. The grass court season being extended for three weeks, is that something you're in favor of?

LLEYTON HEWITT: One extra week?

Q. Yes.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Well, I think the grass court season's always been too short anyway. Considering how much is played on hard court and clay throughout the year, then absolutely. I think it should be as long as we get on grass and obviously what fits in.
It's pretty tough for guys like Rafa, Djokovic, and that to bounce back a couple weeks after the French and expect them to play their best tennis a couple weeks later.
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An interview with: LLEYTON HEWITT

Friday, August 31, 2012

L.Hewitt/G.Muller 3-6 7-6 6-7 7-5 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. Can you talk a little bit about the injury and how that impacted your play.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, don't know if I'd call it an injury. It was more just the toenails were giving me some issues out there. Yeah, just filling the sock up with a bit of blood. Just needed to get them taped and a little bit of padding to relieve it a little bit. Yeah, just got it sorted out.

Q. Does it seem like a million years ago or yesterday when you won here? You were on Court 11. Do you have to remind people that you were a champ here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. You know, you come here as a wild card, so... At the end of the day I play wherever I'm put. Yeah, these are the tournaments that still motivate me. This is why I'm still playing, to play Grand Slams. Yeah, it was a great atmosphere out there, especially the fifth set today. The crowd support that I got was great.

Q. Blake is a wild card and they put him on show courts.

LLEYTON HEWITT: He's American.

Q. Do you feel like you were almost adopted there by the crowd today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was good. It was fantastic. Obviously put a bit more pressure on him serving second in that last set, as well. Up until the last game in the fifth set I hadn't had that many chances on his serve; whereas second, third, and fourth I had quite a few chances and couldn't quite take them. I was sort of waiting for the opportunity. In the fifth set I at least made him play. Got the return back in court and came up with one or two big passers.

Q. Very little margin for error; he played tight himself. You needed to take that rare opportunity, I suppose.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was frustrating because I felt like obviously I was down early. Fought hard to get back, played a good tiebreak, and turned the momentum. Then throughout the third set I felt I was the better player. I was getting more of the chances, but I wasn't able to close it out when I got those breakpoint chances. To lose that third set in another breaker was frustrating. I had to dig deep to turn it around again.

Q. Can you put in words about the drama of the fifth, what that feels like to you.

LLEYTON HEWITT: What do you mean? Yeah, it's great. That's why you still play the game. It all happens pretty quick when you're actually out there playing. Sometimes you wish you had a few more seconds to just sort of soak it up and enjoy the moment a little bit more. It's all happening so fast out there. You got so many things going through your mind at different stages of the match. Yeah, even the change of ends feels like it goes pretty quick.

Q. We have the Clijsters retirement and the Roddick retirement. What goes through your mind when you hear about that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, maybe a little bit surprising that he's called it during the tournament maybe. Yeah, he's been battling some injuries, as well, especially the last year or so. Yeah, he's obviously fought pretty hard every time he steps on the court as well. For him, he obviously just felt like the time is right. Everyone is different. For me, I feel like I've done all the hard yards coming back from surgery. I sort of want to go out on my terms a little bit more.

Q. Happily married man, three kids, all that. What was it like with Kim? What was your favorite memory?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. Not sure.

Q. What are your thoughts on her stepping away from the game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, she's been a great player, you know, one of the best in the women's game. Yeah, she should have won a lot more slams probably than even the four she won. She easily could have won at Wimbledon. I think her game suited Wimbledon. The French Open she came close a couple of times. Yeah, she's been one of the greats.

Q. Any idea why off of hard courts at slams she never prevailed?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, don't know.

Q. Looking forward to playing Ferrer? Do you give yourself a chance of beating him? How is the body feeling?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, apart from the feet. It's not the actual toe that's caused so many issues. That's fine at the moment. But apart from that, the rest of my body felt good today. Lasted 4 hours, 35 minutes, so I felt in control. Possibly moved better in the fifth set than I did in the first set. I got out wide for some passing shots and that which gave me a lot of confidence. It's a big step up in class. It was a totally different match again. He's not going to be hitting aces, but he's not going to be missing any balls either. He's a quality player. Over five sets he's extremely tough. I'll go out there and I'll have a crack.

Q. How difficult is it with what Roger has done this year at the age of 31?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, it's an incredible effort. The way he obviously played at Wimbledon this year, yeah, he wasn't far off obviously beating Novak last year when Novak was playing so well here in New York as well. He really should have won that match; he was the better player. Roger's Roger. He's the greatest player of all time.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about your five‑set record. Today was your 49th, which is the most by a long way. It puts you second on the all‑time list of five‑set matches played and you have a very good record. What is it with you and five‑set matches? Are you pleased you have such a good record in the fifth set?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's something I don't really think about. Obviously I went through one stage in my career where I won a lot in a row. I guess at that time you think about it. But today it was more just playing in the moment and not worrying. I knew I trained extremely hard to get in as good of shape as possible. You still have little doubts, though, because I haven't played 4‑ and five‑set matches in the last couple years, not a lot of them. I trained as hard as anyone coming back from surgery. There's that mindset in the back of your mind when you're out there going into the fifth set that maybe you're due.

Q. What about previous matches, does it give you confidence?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Sometimes. Definitely. The more you win five‑set matches, when the match goes the distance, I think your opponents know that, as well.

Q. With Ferrer, you say he's not going to serve aces; what do you have to do? You have to be really aggressive against him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I've got to take it to him, absolutely. But I've got to pick the right ball, as well. He's not going to give you a lot of cheap balls. If I go out there trying to press too much, then that plays into his hands, as well, because he's such a good counter‑puncher and retriever as well. I'm going to have to serve well, take care of my service games, and take my chances on his.

Q. You played twice before, both at slams, grass and clay. How do you see him on hard court?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He's improved a lot. He's not just the absolute clay court specialist, especially in big tournaments now. This year at Wimbledon he had Andy Murray on the ropes. A couple years ago you wouldn't give him a look playing on grass at Wimbledon against Murray. He's improved right across the board. He's a quality player. As I've said, I've seen him play the Australian Open. I've commentated a few of his matches against good players. He's tough to beat.

Q. Do you see yourself as a broadcaster when you hang the racquet up?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, don't know. Not sure. I've enjoyed the commentary I've done at the Australian Open, but it's only been a little bit. I don't know if I could sit in there all day and night every day. We'd have to see.

Q. You've been around Tony Roche. What does he bring in terms of his tennis or a person?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Rochey is a ripper. He's not only a fantastic coach, he's a great mate for me, as well. We get along extremely well. I can talk about anything with Rochey. I just love how professional he is. I can't see myself doing what he's doing at his age and been around it so many times. But he just loves it. He wants to be on the court. He wants to get the best out of all the guys. And it's not just myself, but it's the young Australian guys that were even in the crowd watching me today sitting alongside them with Patrick Rafter. It's nice to have him back with the Davis Cup for us. It's really important.

Q. Was there ever a stage with injuries and surgeries where you thought it might not be possible to get back?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, I had a lot of surgeons tell me I couldn't get back. I guess when the specialists are telling you that you start thinking bit, worrying about it, concerned about it. You know, that probably made me push a little harder.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:36 PM   #313
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Default Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

An interview with: LLEYTON HEWITT

Sunday, September 2, 2012

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q.Just couldn't quite get back in it in the end.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I fought hard to get back into the first set. Yeah, early on he wasn't giving me any cheap points out there. It was tough to get games. His depth was exceptional right from the word go. I was fighting hard to sort of just stay in touch in the first set, and then I started putting a bit more pressure on him. Got back on level terms, and then, yeah, for most of the tiebreak I was on top obviously. Yeah, could have gone either way. Yeah, I'm not saying I was going to win, but if I'd won the first set would have made life a bit easier.

Q.Talk about that game in the third set.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he got a couple of lucky net cords when I had game points. Yeah, to his credit he picked up his game again in the third set. Afterward I was able to ‑‑ I served pretty well through the second set once I got the early break. The third set though he started dictating play again and didn't give me cheap points, especially off his backhand in the rally.

Q. Disappointed with the third round, but are you overall happy with the campaign here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, second hard court tournament since the Aussie Open. Limited preparation in terms of five set matches, as well. That was probably the telling thing, you know, I had to keep backing up against quality players. At least normally when you go into the Australian Open you have half of November and full of December sort of a preseason under your belt; whereas this time it's just been matches here and there, and, yeah, obviously not a lot of five‑setters. So, yeah, all in all I was, yeah, pretty happy. Takes another quality player to beat me again. Yeah, there are a lot of positives, you know. Even to come out today I thought my ball striking was probably better today than it was in the first two matches. So in terms of Davis Cup‑wise, I think there were a lot of positives to come out of, you know, backing up against quality players. Yeah, today's match was kind of like a clay court match, as well. You know, obviously Pat and Rochey will set sit back and we will have a chat about it.

Q.This year do you think Australia can get back into the World Group?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, we haven't had the easiest draws, you know. This is probably as tough as the other ones that we have had. So, yeah, we are going in as the underdogs, there's no doubt about it. I don't know when Germany would have been ‑‑ the last time they were out of the World Group, but hasn't been for a long time, that's for sure. Yeah, they've got a lot of options singles and doubles, and, you know, we're gonna have to, out of the five matches, we're going to have to have three really good matches to get over the line.

Q.Watch any of Bernie's match the other night?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I haven't seen it.

Q. Have you heard about it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I have heard and seen some of the stuff about it. Yeah, obviously I would have thought it would have gone a little bit better against Andy. As I say, I can't comment because I didn't see. I was stuck in traffic driving back.

Q. Pat is obviously the captain, but are you the sort of guy who might get in Bernie's ear?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. You know, I've got along well with Bernie for the last couple of years now, and, you know, we have practiced quite a bit together, nearly at most tournaments we have played last couple years, or last year and a half or so. And then, you know, obviously we were the only two guys in the Olympics on the men's side, so we spent a lot of time together there, as well. In terms of all that, I think he does listen to me quite a bit. Even when he's spoken about things, you know, whether he was playing Roddick or, yeah, his game a little bit during the Olympics when he was down on confidence a little bit. So, yeah, that's what I'm there for. Been around for a long time now. Yeah, he had a disappointing loss here in the second round last year to Cilic, and then he came out and played pretty well in the Davis Cup against Roger and Stan. Yeah, hopefully he can get it together.

Q. What's it like to play Ferrer, to try to solve him maybe versus what it was like in '06 and '08?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Still very similar. Not a lot of difference. His game is, yeah, it's a standard game for him. He's not going to blow you off the court out there, but he's going to make you work for every single point. It's the same now as it was then for me. You know, he's a quality player. Probably got a little bit better on hard courts and grass than he was back then. But, you know, he's a great competitor, and you're gonna be out there for a long time to beat him.

Q. (Question regarding Bernard Tomic.)

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. Yeah, absolutely. He's a unique player. His ball striking is unique. Some of his shot selection is unique. Then again, you know, there has been matches probably more so at the Aussie Open that he's been able to turn matches around because of that, you know. Yeah, the Verdasco match for example looked like he was struggling there for a while and he was able to turn that around. And even against Dolgopolov in the Aussie Open, as well. Yeah, that's him and his personality a little bit, as well.

Q. Firstly, take off Thursday or a bit earlier?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. Obviously some of the boys have been hitting on clay already. Yeah, I will speak to Pat and Rochey and I'll doing the exactly the same as what everyone else on the team is doing.

Q. What are you plans for the rest of the year after Davis Cup?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'll definitely be playing a few tournaments. Most likely probably four tournaments, I'd say, at this stage. I'm still working out exactly where and which tournaments, but I'd like to probably play four after the Davis Cup somewhere.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:33 AM   #314
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Default Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

R. STEPANEK/L. Hewitt

7 5, 6 1

An interview with:

LLEYTON HEWITT

Q. What did you take out of that? Serve wasn't at its best tonight.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, yeah, first serve sort of came and went a little bit. But my second serve actually held up really well through the whole match.

That's what I sort of struggled with a little bit through the US Open and Davis Cup, was my second serve. So in terms of that, I was happy with that.

First serve, yeah, I served in patches. He played a great match, though. That court suits him extremely well. Yeah, he executed everything he needed to do.


Q. Physically everything was good?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, pretty good. Physically I felt fine. Obviously, the toughest thing with the foot has been just keep changing surfaces. I always find the first week on a different surface, the last three months, has been the toughest thing.
I had some good practices the last couple of days. But, yeah, always that first week back on hard courts is not easy.


Q. Now that you've had a little time to reflect on Davis Cup, it was disappointing, but do you feel your body is up to three matches in a row for the future? Was that something you feel needs to sort of be tactically tweaked as to how to best use you in circumstances like that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, possibly. Yeah, I don't know. It's a tough one 'cause obviously at the time it's really the only options we had. So, yeah, I don't know exactly what the best way of doing it is.
But by the last day this time, especially on clay, on a slow clay court, when I haven't played as many matches as I would have liked, that sort of took a toll over the three days.


Q. Bernie had a pretty lame last second set today. He was asked if he gave 100%. He said about 85%. How does it make you feel, for someone that gives 200% when you go out there, what kind of advice can you give him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Today I don't know because I didn't see any of the match obviously. I only saw the score.
Who knows. Yeah, I've practiced with him twice in the last three days. In practice he's been trying. Yeah, I can't really comment on today's match because I haven't seen it.
Obviously some guys I guess go in and out of matches a little bit more than me probably. I feel like whatever I do, I always give 100% anyway. Bernie's a totally different character and totally different player to how I am.
But, you know, he's probably going through a little bit of a rough patch I guess the last, you know, four or five months.


Q. Some fans just cry when they saw you wave your hands on the court because they still remember a lot about you, especially when you won the Masters Cup in Shanghai. Do you still remember the first championship news conference in Shanghai when you won the Masters Cup? Do you still remember that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's a long time ago, so I don't know if I remember. I remember obviously winning it. It was a very special memory for me, obviously. I held on to the No. 1 ranking again at that tournament and obviously finished it off by winning the tournament against quality players.
For me to come back to Shanghai is fantastic every time. This is only the second time I've played it as a Masters Series event. It's one of my favorite tournaments of the year. The organization is first class. It's fantastic for the players.
I hope to be back here again. As I said, it's a great tournament. The fans are good. Out at the practice court, they try and walk on the practice court (smiling). But they're very excitable fans.


Q. What are your plans now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I play Stockholm and Valencia.

Q. The off season, any particular priorities this time?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I'm playing an XO in Tokyo. Apart from that it will be training as usual for the Australian summer.

Q. And Brisbane this time?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, playing Brisbane. Yeah, something different. I look forward to it. Should be a good event. I played in that arena for Davis Cup, obviously. It will be good.

Q. Since we're talking about history, Andy Roddick retired this year, Marat Safin retired a couple years ago. Roger jokingly said before he might play until he was 35 or something. What about you? Do you have a plan?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't have a time, a number on it, no. Obviously a lot is dependent on my body and how I'm feeling. Right at the moment, though, I'm still motivated. I'm still training as hard as ever, as hard as anyone out there I think.
The hardest thing is just not playing, coming off a Davis Cup clay court, not playing for a few weeks, then trying to step it up against quality players. I'm really looking forward to November, December, where I can train hard for the first time in a long time and get ready for the Australian summer, take it from there.
ut, as I said, I'm still enjoying it at the moment. We'll see what happens.


Q. You are in this sport for so many years. We are in the world of the big four. Do you have any comment on this competition, the four top players competing against each other and won everything? Little room for the rest of the other players. What do you think about that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, it's fantastic for those four guys, what they've been able to do, how consistent they've been. It's great for Murray obviously to cross the line now because he came so close so many times against those three other guys.
It's great for men's tennis. A lot of generations, there's only been two guys at different times that have sort of had a rivalry. In terms of that I think that's good. There's four guys. The only other guy that won a slam against those four is Del Potro. There's a couple others pushing for it, Ferrer, Berdych, Tsonga, these kind of guys. But I think men's tennis is pretty healthy at the moment.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:58 AM   #315
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Default Re: Lleyton's Press Conference

December 31, 2012

Lleyton Hewitt

BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Feel like a while since you played?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little while. Not too long though. Coming in I had, yeah, not as long as probably other years coming into the Aussie because this was the first time I played a couple indoor tournaments towards the end of the year in Europe.
Yeah, feel like I've had a really good off‑season this year on the practice court and more so in the gym and doing off‑court work.


Q. How long since the body has felt as good as it does right now?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know. Few years.

Q. For 2013, what are your aspirations?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. You know, for me, the priority is obviously the Grand Slams. The Australian Open and Wimbledon are my two main priorities. That's where I want to play my best tennis. I think I've got my chance of playing my best tennis over five sets in those two majors with a little bit of luck with the draw as well.
Then obviously Davis Cup. So I will work the rest of my schedule around those events. Right at the moment I haven't thought too much past Melbourne and doing everything right for there.


Q. It's your first time here in Brisbane. Is it nice in this stage of your career to have first times like this?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not too many, so, yeah, it's obviously nice. This tournament used to be in my hometown of Adelaide so I always played there. Then I've played a lot in Perth in the Hopman Cup as well.
I knew the arena and the place anyway from Davis Cup ties. Played here once on clay a couple years ago and then was here earlier this year for the Davis Cup. Was helping the boys out on court.
So it's a great arena. It's going to be nice to play there tomorrow nice.


Q. Stepanek of is a tough competitor. How are you preparing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's going to be a tough match. Always played pretty well against him, and then lost to him a couple months ago in Shanghai. He played really well.
Yeah, he's a tough competitor. He gives 100% every time he's on the court. He's got an awkward game style to a lot of other guys out there. I probably wasn't 100% in Shanghai, so hopefully tomorrow night will be different.


Q. Marinko Matosevic has obviously had his best year. How high do you see him potentially going?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to say. Obviously he's got his points sort of scattered all over the shop a little bit. He had some of his biggest highs last year and some of his lowest losses as well in the challengers in the early part of the year.
He's got a big opportunity now I think in the next couple months before he has to defend his final in Delray Beach to really make a stamp on it.
In terms of points, I don't know exactly.


Q. Is he potentially a top 30 guy?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he could get top 30, I think. A lot of guys sneak in there and bounce out of there all the time. He obviously hits the ball well enough. His ball‑striking isn't his problem. You know, there are a couple of things. He's got to work on his serve. If he can hold more of his service games, he's a really good returner of serve, so he is going to get the opportunities to break.
Yeah, I've hit with him a few times up here. He's hitting the ball clean enough. Just got to structure his points a little bit better.


Q. Do you see a significance mental improvement in him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. Yeah, I think he's moving well. His fitness levels are better. All‑round I think he's a lot better player than 12 months ago.
A lot is going to come down to self‑belief as well taking that next step.


Q. Seems that every year the young player become more powerful and taller. Do you think that it's even more complicated for you to compete with these players?

LLEYTON HEWITT: There is probably more powerful players out there these days than ten, fifteen years ago but, yeah, all these guys are pretty talented, I guess.
A lot of the bigger guys these days move a lot better than they used to. I think that is probably their biggest strength. They don't just have a serve. They can obviously move and make a lot more balls from the back of the court.
Even Karlovic, Isner, these bigger guys, Kevin Anderson. So that probably makes it a little bit tougher.


Q. Do you think it would be possible for a shot player to be No. 1 today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, Djokovic isn't the biggest guy and he handles everyone pretty easily. Federer is certainly not the biggest guy or the strongest guy out there, and, you know, he doesn't lose to Isner or Karlovic too often, you know.
Yeah, then guys like Tsonga who is so powerful and explosive. So there is a lot different players out there, but, yeah, I still think a good ball‑striker and if you got good hands you still can be very competitive.


Q. What's your take on Rafa's withdrawal? Do you fear for his future, that his knees aren't quite right?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, from what I read it wasn't his knee that he pulled out, so I don't know.

Q. Well there is a suspicion that it might be.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Okay. Well, I don't know. Unless you know something I don't. I'm just going on he's got a virus, whatever. If that's the case, then, yeah, that's unlucky, obviously.
Yeah, everyone wants to see him back playing. He's one of my favorite players to watch. It's disappointing he's not going to be at the Aussie, especially after I was fortunate enough to commentate the final last year. That was one of the greatest matches I've seen.


Q. You've been on tour since you were a teenager. What has kept you motivated for all those years?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not sure. I love competing, obviously. You're retired for a long time I guess as well. I've been able to freshen up though the last few years in terms of there has been four or five months at a time where I've had surgeries and had to recover.
Obviously just mentally I've been able to be a lot fresher and not burnt out as much. For me it's all about scheduling and not playing too many tournaments and obviously trying to play well where I want to play well.
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