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January 22, 2015

Lleyton Hewitt


B. BECKER/L. Hewitt
2-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What caused the turnaround in the match?
LLEYTON HEWITT: He definitely raised his level. The first two sets I felt like I was dictating play the whole time. Yeah, he obviously tightened up some of his errors start of the third set. He started serving a lot better as well. I couldn't get into as many of his service games to build pressure on him. He served, and then, yeah, he played a good game to break me halfway through the third set. He seemed to really get confident after that.

Q. When you left the court, did you take an extra moment tonight at all?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. You know, it sort of happens that quickly when you walk off. Obviously, a great reception. But you probably don't take it in as much as you should.

Q. I had a look at your five-setters. You've lost five of your last six. Does that come into your thinking? Were you aware of that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It doesn't come into my thinking when I'm out there. Obviously I'm aware, though. I lost to Seppi last year. Lost a tight one to Janowicz at Wimbledon. I think Simon at the French. Been decent players, though. Obviously frustrating tonight because I was playing so well for the first two sets.

Q. Were you expecting the game to change so suddenly in the third?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I never looked ahead, that's for sure. I was focused. I was more trying to hold my service games through the third set, then trying to get that small opportunity to break. In the end, as I said, he played a really good game. He got aggressive, got hot on a couple of returns at 3-2 in the third set. Then after that he wasn't missing as many easy balls as he was for the first two sets. His serve picked up.

Q. You said you didn't look around when you left the court. The television replay showed at the last sit-down, changeover, you were looking around, taking everything in. What was going through your mind then?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You know more than me then. If I looked at every TV changeover, I'm probably doing exactly the same thing. There was nothing different going through my mind. It was more just trying to work out the situation. I was trying to bust my guts to get the first couple points, put some kind of pressure on him. Nothing else entered my mind.

Q. The second break in the fifth set, did you think before then you were getting into his service games?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Those two games I had 15-40, another breakpoint straight after. If I could have broken there, got back on serve. Then the following game I think I had Love-30, he came up with four good first serves. I didn't have -- yeah, I made a couple of them. But he had short replies that he could step in on. Credit to him, he came up big when he needed to, especially with his serve.

Q. There were stages in the first two sets when you were playing superbly. Does it make it more frustrating or almost baffling that it turned around when you're playing that well?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, conditions were different, too, from the start of the match till the end of the match. Totally different conditions. You know, the ball was flying through the air. Obviously you start in daylight and it goes into nighttime. By the end the balls were so much heavier out there, which was, yeah, obviously harder to dictate play, especially from the back of the court for me.

Q. As usual, there will be a lot of speculation about your future now. What's next for you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'll sit down and think about it. As I've said the whole time, I haven't thought about anything. But obviously the Davis Cup is the next main thing. Now that we've got some guys playing really good tennis at the moment, it's an exciting time. Yeah, we have a good chance to possibly pull off an upset away. That's the next focus.

Q. Does that make you want to stay on longer, not thinking about retirement, but...
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not necessarily. Obviously it would be great to play when Nick and Bernie and Thanasi are possibly top 10, top 20 players, you get a free ride winning Davis Cups (smiling). That ain't going to happen straightaway. You know, I've always said that for me to stick around in Davis Cup is to help these guys more as a mentor, teach them what Davis Cup's all about. So far I've been able to do that from I guess my dedication on the practice court and the match court playing for Australia.

Q. What are your thoughts on the singles mix? You have been in the top two. Do you think you still have that spot now?
LLEYTON HEWITT: A lot depends on the matchup. I think right at the moment, obviously the good thing now is we have a lot of options. It's a key I think to trying to win Davis Cup ties, especially in the World Group. You need options. Obviously I feel doubles-wise I've played some of my best tennis in Davis Cup doubles over the last five years, six years since I've really had to play doubles nearly every tie. At least now I don't feel -- you know, I'm never going to play three matches anymore. I think that's a good thing.

Q. How does the body pull up after a five-setter now?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I feel fine at the moment.

Q. You talked about the changing conditions going from daylight into darkness. Who does that suit most out of the main contenders here?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to say. I think Roger's always played really well in night conditions because there's not as much breeze. Early on, the first couple of sets, there was actually quite a bit of breeze. We were playing downhill from the end you walk in. I like playing in those conditions. Once it was sunset, then the breeze totally went out. In still conditions, I think Roger plays pretty well because it's hard to get out of his hitting zone.

Q. 19 consecutive Australian Opens is an incredible record. 20 has a nice look to it. Is that a lure at all?
LLEYTON HEWITT: For some people I'm sure it is. Yeah, I don't know. As I said the whole time, I haven't been kidding anyone, really I don't know. I've just tried to focus on what I've wanted to do, to get the best out of myself this year. I'll sit back and assess everything after this tournament.
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