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June 27, 2014

Lleyton Hewitt


7/5, 6/4, 6/7, 4/6, 6/3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ What is it like to play a guy that gets on big rolls then is streaky sometimes?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, that's the tough part of playing a guy like that, on this surface as well.テつ Obviously he takes pretty big cuts at the ball.テつ Even though I felt like I was starting to turn the match around throughout the fourth set, you're only sort of a few points away from him opening it again.
That's what happened.テつ He saved a couple of big breakpoints first game of the fifth, then he sort of took it upon himself to sort of take the match out of my hands.

Q.テつ As you look back now, do you see the chance at the start of the fifth, do you see that as the pivotal part of the match?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, if I got a second serve, I'm pretty sure I would have broken at that stage.テつ I was on top of his second serve.テつ He started hitting his first serve a lot harder through the fifth set.テつ He made an incredible amount of them.
But, yeah, if I got a second serve or was able to get some kind of ball back into play over the service line and actually make him come up with a tough shot, you know, I felt like he was getting a little tight on his service games.
When you got a serve like that, he can open up on my service games and let it rip, and that's what he did.

Q.テつ You gave a wave to the crowd at the end of the match.テつ Standard wave?テつ It wasn't a wave good‑bye for good?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I don't know.テつ You never know.テつ I'm one injury away from hanging up the bats at any time.テつ Obviously you appreciate the support out there today.

Q.テつ Does that make you try to appreciate the moments like today a bit more?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Not really 'cause when you're out there in battle, you're doing what comes naturally to you.テつ Nothing changes.
I'm focused on every single point.テつ As soon as anything else starts entering your mind, you know, you might as well walk inside, you're done.

Q.テつ Talking about your fitness and your health, it's good now.テつ Are you looking forward?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, the body felt fine out there which is, you know, obviously a positive thing.テつ But, you know, still frustrating to walk off the court feeling fine, feeling like you could have bounced back and played another five‑setter tomorrow.テつ But you don't get the opportunity.
Yeah, you know, with all that, what I've been through, the surgeries, it's going okay at the moment.

Q.テつ Is your mind when you get that close to someone who is top 20, does it give you the belief it's still worth keeping playing because you're so close?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ It's not something I really focus on.テつ I'm playing for my own reasons.
Yeah, I know when I play my best tennis, I can still go out there and push guys, especially on this kind of surface over five sets.テつ It's not something going into this tournament or this match that I doubted, so...

Q.テつ Considering Nick's match, if and when you do go, do you feel you're leaving Australian tennis in good hands?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ I saw a little bit.テつ I didn't want to get too wrapped up in the match.テつ I had to play five sets after.
Obviously, how he handled the situation was fantastic.テつ It's good being 19 and going out there and just going for it even when you're down match points.
Much in the same way as Bernie can go out there and play big tennis on the big stage, that's a huge positive for Australian tennis moving forward.テつ You want to be able to go out here and not tighten up and play your best tennis at these tournaments.
Both those guys have done that so far.

Q.テつ Do you feel emotional when you do lose at a Grand Slam tournament because you know there's a possibility you won't be coming back 12 months on?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ It's not something I think about, no.

Q.テつ You talked about leaving Australian tennis in good hands.テつ It seems we have the same debate over here every year about British players coming through.テつ From your experience, do you see it that way, that perhaps we should be producing more?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, well, I don't have a clue with the LTA.テつ I don't really care either.
With Australian tennis, I think once I stop playing, I'll have a closer look at what goes on behind the scenes.
In years past we've had really good juniors that haven't been able to make the transition.テつ I don't necessarily know whether that's a hunger thing or not.テつ But we've got to have something in place to make them from great juniors and make that transition a bit smoother and get them in the top 100 on the senior ranks.

Q.テつ Before you said you were playing for your own reasons.テつ Can you put into words what your reasons are for keeping going?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Well, I still enjoy it.テつ I still enjoy doing the hard work.テつ For moments out there like today, to play five‑setters against the best guys in the world.
But, yeah, obviously when I've had the surgeries, I've missed it as well when you have been out.テつ I think in some ways the last couple years I've been grateful I've been able to come back, especially after the last surgery where I didn't really think I'd be able to go out there and compete against the guys again.
Yeah, there's satisfaction in doing that.

Q.テつ I believe you set a new record today for most five‑set matches in slams.テつ Are you proud of that accomplishment?テつ What is it that makes you keep digging deep in those circumstances?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I'll have to take your word on that because I wouldn't have a clue on the record.
Yeah, I'd much rather win in three or four sets than go the distance all the time.テつ I seem to put everyone through the wringer quite a bit.

Q.テつ You said it's nice to be 19 and just kind of go for it.テつ What has changed for you in matches since you were 19?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I don't know.テつ I think when you're 19 you sort of think this is going to happen all the time, you can go out there and it doesn't matter if you hit a big second serve and double‑fault on match point.テつ You probably don't think about what could possibly go wrong, I guess, if it does go out.
You sort of play with that nothing‑to‑lose attitude every time you go out there.テつ I guess that changes over time.

Q.テつ What are your plans between now and the U.S.?テつ Do you feel you need more tennis or less tennis?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I'll play a few tournaments leading into the U.S.テつ I'll sit down and work out what schedule I want to get as many matches as I feel like I need.
I won't be playing every week.

Q.テつ The grass court season going an extra week next year...
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ I wouldn't make my decision whether I keep playing or not just on that for sure.テつ But, obviously, I would have loved it 10 years ago.テつ It's always so tough and such a short period to adjust and play on grass.
Yeah, a lot of guys are playing a lot better on grass I think.テつ There's a lot more guys that can play on this surface as you see in the draws nowadays.テつ But I think it's a good things.

Q.テつ With Nick's success and a couple other young guys coming through, what is your sense where the Davis Cup team might be over the next 18 months?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I don't know.テつ Obviously a lot depends on draws.テつ Right now we got to get through our playoff match.テつ That's the only focus we have for September, then we wait and see on the draw.
We're not going to be seeded in the World Group for a long time until we start making semis and finals again.テつ We could be playing Spain in Spain.テつ Brutal draws out there.

Q.テつ Does it give you confidence the way the younger guys are beginning to play?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Absolutely.テつ But Bernie the last couple years has played really well in Davis Cup, as well.テつ We've been on the improve for a few years now.テつ We got to try and cement our spot in the World Group.

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