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June 15, 2015

Lleyton Hewitt


6‑7, 7‑5, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ As disappointing as it would have been to lose that match, how special was it to be recognized and have the opportunity to say thank you?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, obviously, yeah, it was fantastic.
Yeah, I have loved coming back here and playing for so many years.テつ Obviously I have said most years I come back here it's one of my favorite tournaments of the year outside of the majors.
Yeah, it was special to come back.テつ Knowing it was going to be the last one, as well.テつ I have played so many big matches in front of big crowds here over the years with big names, quality players.
For most of the first two sets I played pretty well out there.

Q.テつ That forehand on match point?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I kind of just slipped a little bit actually on that one, and yeah, just didn't hit it well.テつ But yeah, you start thinking about afterwards whether I ‑‑because it was the second serve.テつ Up until that stage I had been serving really well, as well.テつ Whether I should have gone for a different serve or not, it's about second guessing what you went for.
But yeah, I felt like he sort of stepped it up, as well, from that point. テつEven from 4‑3 when he went down a break, that next game, was down Love‑30, fought hard to get out of that one.テつ Felt like he sort of tried to play the match more on his terms from then on.
Yeah, I was actually surprised how many balls, good balls he made from the back of the court.テつ It wasn't just his serve out there.

Q.テつ Will this be an emotional, long farewell for you this year?テつ Will you just put that aside and get on with your tennis?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I don't think it will be that emotional. テつYou know, just try and enjoy it as much as possible.テつ I'm fortunate that not many people in sport get to go out on their terms, and, you know, I have always said that I wanted to, you know, if the body held up and the opportunities were there, I would love to go out obviously on my terms.テつ And, you know, so far it looks like I'll be able to do that.

Q.テつ Obviously the Australian Open will mean a lot to you, but in terms of the other tournaments over the year, is this the part of the season that, given it's your farewell tour this year, this means a lot to you given your success and the attachment you have to grass over the years?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I love this month, this time of the year.テつ I love just getting ‑‑ obviously clay was never my favorite surface.テつ As soon as I got to London and started preparing for Wimbledon and obviously Queen's, that tournament, then I felt right at home straightaway.
Yeah, I have said it so many times, but this time of the year is one of my favorites and I guess you go under the radar a little bit more.テつ Obviously, yeah, over the years, especially when you're at the top of the game playing in Australia, you know, it's a pretty hectic month, the whole lead‑in to the Australian Open, as well.
I guess you can sometimes enjoy this time of the year.テつ And, you know, obviously Wimbledon, going back there as a member, it's a pretty special place.

Q.テつ And what's your hope there?テつ Are you quite desperate to get maybe one last win there in terms of a match or two under your belt and see what it looks like?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Whatever.テつ Yeah, hopefully, it will be nice not to ‑‑the last two weeks I played a couple of pretty good grass court players.テつ It would be nice to play someone that's not quite as good as those two on grass first up, at least.
You're in the hands of the gods, though, when you're not seeded.テつ You know, you can come up against anyone.テつ But as I showed for the majority of the first two sets today, I felt like the standard of tennis was pretty damn good.

Q. テつYou had quite a good year last year, and your ranking, you ended like No. 50.テつ What was it that actually triggered the decision in Australia this year?テつ Something happened, or did you also know that this was going to be it this year?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ No, I knew I was always going to play one more Wimbledon, for sure.テつ It was just a matter of whether I wanted to, yeah, that next six months I guess decide on keep my body in as good of shape as possible and play another Australian summer and another at least Australian Open.
Yeah, it was always pretty much in my mind it was made up that I wanted to come back and play Wimbledon one more time, and obviously here at Queen's.テつ Then I had to decide whether I was ‑‑ you know, I don't want to go out there and not compete and play well, either.
So I feel like I have done all the right things off the court, on the practice court, and I can at least know that I have given 100% out there in my preparation but also on the match court.

Q.テつ Assuming that competing is still the thing that drives you, is the travel the biggest grind for you now?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, pretty much.テつ Yeah, the motivation obviously for Australian Open, Wimbledon, these tournaments now, and Davis Cup, yeah, the motivation is always there.
That's what I will miss about obviously hanging them up.テつ But, yeah, just being at home with the family, and yeah, not have to always think about training and getting your body right and hold those one‑percenters that you have to do to keep playing on the tour.
It does get harder I think without the match practice and playing a lot of matches, as well, just to come out and expect to play well against the big guys straightaway.
But I've tried to train exceptionally hard so that I give myself the best chance.

Q.テつ Winning Wimbledon as young as you did, did you think you'd potentially win more than has happened in the end?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ It's not something I thought about when I won Wimbledon.テつ It's kind of just a massive obviously satisfaction of all the hard work over the years.
Even though I was young, yeah, I made a lot of sacrifices up until that point as well to try and be the best tennis player I could be.
Yeah, it's a relief, I guess, in some ways, too, that you can go out there and enjoy that, yeah, you're a former winner of probably the biggest tournament there is in the world.テつ Yeah, to me it doesn't really matter if you win it once or five times.テつ Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'll take what I got.

Q.テつ Are you playing in any tournaments next week?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ No, not at this stage, no.

Q.テつ Have you prepared for your retirement?テつ What have you been doing in that respect?テつ In terms of helping young Australians come through, what are your plans involved with those?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I haven't fully prepared for it.テつ I have prepared my whole life.テつ Now I can just sit back and just chill out for a bit, enjoy, not having to set an alarm and go to the gym and do all the small things.
Yeah, we will wait and see.テつ Obviously I'll be helping out Australian tennis in some way at some stage, and, yeah, it's kind of started this year, anyway.
I have tried to help out Bernie the last couple of years as much as possible, and I have a good relationship with Nick and know Thanasi really well, and we are playing doubles here and at Wimbledon, as well.テつ I feel like I have a really good connection with those guys.テつ They are quality players moving forward.

Q.テつ We know you're playing the Australian Open and obviously Wimbledon next week.テつ Have you made a decision on the US Open and maybe the Davis Cup later in the year, as well?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, obviously at this stage I'm planning to get through the Davis Cup and hopefully we are in a semifinal, trying to play a couple of matches before then.テつ It will be a good opportunity to play France or Great Britain in the semifinal of the Davis Cup, sort of work my schedule around the Davis Cup.テつ For the rest of the year, that would be the priority.

Q.テつ When you look across the way the tour has changed in the many years you have been playing, what are those changes that surprise you most or you think are most significant?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Probably the bigger guys out there, how well they move now around the court.テつ Kevin, he's 6'8" or so.テつ And you have Karlovic, 6'10".テつ Isner is 6'9", 6'10", so it's not just about their serve.テつ You know, they are quality players from the back of the court and they make a lot of balls out there.
You know, obviously when I first came on the tour, a lot of the big servers were pretty much just serve/volley players.テつ If you can keep them on the back of the court, they weren't going to make two balls in a row.
So the game has changed as I think everyone returns a lot better than they used to, as well.テつ It makes it a lot harder to serve/volley.

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