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L. Hewitt: "I still feel I can go out there and play well on this surface [clay]"

LLEYTON HEWITT may be making his 14th appearance at Roland Garros, but this French Open feels different to the Australian stalwart.

Traditionally, Hewitt has used the European clay court swing to put miles in his legs ahead of Wimbledon.

And while the All England Club remains the major focus of this time of year for Hewitt, he has arrived in Paris injury free and feeling good on clay.

“The last few years I’ve come in really underdone and a couple of times I’ve come in it’s been basically my first tournament back post-surgery and I haven’t really given myself any chance of even trying to get through too many matches at all,” Hewitt said.

“This year’s a little bit different — the body’s been feeling good, I’ve been able to hit a lot on clay leading into it but also I didn’t wear myself out too much in the tournaments leading in here.

“The bigger picture is the grass for me but I’m still enjoying it and hopefully I can go out there and cause a few upsets.”

Hewitt has won just one of his five competitive matches this year on clay, his least-favourite surface.

“I still feel I can go out there and play well on this surface,” Hewitt said.

He will need to do just that in his opening match against Carlos Berlocq, an Argentine clay courter ranked just four places below the Australian at No. 48.

By playing at Roland Garros this year, Hewitt sits equal with Roger Federer in third place for the most Grand Slams played in the Open era.

They are just one behind Andre Agassi and 10 behind first-placed Fabrice Santoro.

Hewitt’s 14 appearances also put him equal third among active players for most appearances at the French Open, behind Federer (16) and Michael Llodra.

But, for all his experience, *Hewitt has never faced Berlocq.

“He’s a tough player, especially on this surface,” Hewitt said. “I’ve got to go out there and play well and obviously the boys in my corner would have done a bit of homework but I’ve still got to go out there and execute.”

If Hewitt makes it past Berlocq, he faces a potential second-round match with countryman Bernard Tomic or French No. 12 seed Richard Gasquet.

“Bernie’s going to have his work cut out with Gasquet in the first round,” Hewitt said.

“I’m totally blocking that out. Whatever happens, happens. I’d love to see Bernie get up *obviously but he’s going to have a tough one.”

http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/tennis/aussie-tennis-veteran-lleyton-hewitt-hungry-for-upsets-in-milestone-french-open-appearance/story-fnii0pkt-1226931022277

 

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Re: L. Hewitt: "I still feel I can go out there and play well on this surface [clay]"

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Re: L. Hewitt: "I still feel I can go out there and play well on this surface [clay]"

Hewitt on Clay

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