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January 8, 2020

Lleyton Hewitt

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you watch much of Great Britain so far and what you thought of -- I suppose Dan Evans has really improved, probably one of the form players of the tournament so far?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I watched a little bit. Haven't seen a whole heap, not the whole matches.

Yeah, his results, he's sort of got better as the event has gone on, so he's probably got used to the conditions. That's probably the toughest thing for us, coming from a different city, their being here and acclimatized, they know how center court is play. So that's something we've got to adjust to tomorrow when we go out there.

Yeah, I think Dan, I think Cameron Norrie has probably got better, as well. He probably had a bit of a slow start, but he's got better. So it's going to be two tough matches for us.

Q. Nick is playing well, Alex is playing well, John is playing well if you need him as a third option. Do you feel like you guys can go the distance here? It seems like you guys, along with Spain probably, have from top to bottom probably the most consistent and strong team.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, at the moment just focusing on Great Britain. Yeah, a lot depends on the day. Obviously every No. 1 is unbelievably strong in the whole competition. No. 2s probably vary a little bit from team to team.

I'm pretty happy with -- yeah, Nick obviously is No. 2, and when John has had to step up I have full confidence in him, as well.

There's going to be a lot of ties though that could potentially come down to the doubles from the quarterfinals onwards as well. It's interesting. The doubles in this format, the sudden-death deuce, and also the super-tiebreak, there's a lot of clutch points, which is really exciting for the crowd and TV and the viewers.

It's pretty nerve-racking, actually, sitting on the sideline and not being able to actually be out there and in control of it.

Q. Nick said last night he was trying to be on his best behavior because he's on probation. You saw firsthand he didn't put a foot wrong. You must be pretty impressed with his attitude at the moment. In a perverse way, do you think this probation might be helping his tennis?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, possibly. I don't know if it's helping his tennis. It could certainly help, you know, weather the roller coaster sometimes that he does have in a match.

Yeah, he was great as soon as we got together in Brisbane before the event started. He was in a positive frame of mind. I think he was still building up through the preseason, probably didn't have the toughest preseason after the collarbone in Davis Cup.

So he's kind of been managing, and that's kind of why he didn't play the second match, as well, because he had a bit of a niggle after the first match.

But I think, you know, for him, yeah, there is a line and sometimes he crosses it. And he knows that. Yeah, certainly I think it can help him develop. Whether it's going to help straightaway or maybe in 6, 12 months, that's another thing.

But, you know, so far he hasn't put a foot wrong, as you said. He's been great behind me on the bench, as well, firing the boys up and being entertaining for everyone else. It's been a lot of fun.

Q. Obviously the captain on the other side of the court is Tim, who you know quite well from when you played. Is it nice, even though you guys aren't on the court striking the ball, to compete against one of your contemporaries?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think it's a really nice touch that this event has had, especially in the first year. For me, it was pretty special to go up against Boris Becker in the first match, as well.

You know, Boris is a guy that we idolized growing up, my era. To have him a part of the event has been fantastic.

I caught up with Tim as soon as we got in here this morning. I saw him downstairs. I think it's great to have some of those icons of the sport and their country. I think it adds a lot of weight to the competition.

Tim as a coach I think, yeah, he's pretty switched on with how he sees the game, as well. I have no doubt that he'll be able to help these guys. Probably Dan Evans, his game style and stuff, I'm sure he's got some pretty good tips for him and the way that he goes about it. But as I said, I just think it's another big step for this event.

Q. With Nick and Alex both being given a bit of space by not playing a match here and there, is there any concern at all about their physical situation as you get into this business end of the tournament and then even looking further ahead?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. You know, I think I probably couldn't have been happier with how we're positioned, to be honest.

You know, Alex, he had a massive preseason, trained the house down, worked extremely hard. The first two matches really showed it. So I think for him it's a precaution, especially coming into the Australian Open the last couple of years and he played so many matches those first two weeks and then he was actually pretty flat by the Australian Open. So it's about managing his workload a little bit, as well.

We knew that he was going to have a really tough match tomorrow. Yeah, he was a bit fatigued obviously after that last match against Shapovalov. I think tomorrow he'll be ready to go. He looked pretty good out there hitting today.

Q. Do you think this scheduling gives you a better chance to win the ATP Cup compared to the Davis Cup? Is it nice to get that rest in between?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it is. It is nice (smiling). Especially, you know, when you come from other cities, as well, though.

Last night was a pretty late finish. Brisbane is an hour behind. To get here though now, you know, we'll be ready tomorrow morning at 10:00 to go out there and play.

It has been nice just even the guys to manage their workload a little bit on the practice court and more just work on specific stuff on their day off.

Yeah, having that extra, I guess, three days or whatever has been pretty handy.

Q. I think a lot of fans found that Tsitsipas' kind of parent situation a bit amusing even though it was quite serious. Can you remember a time when mum or dad growing up, playing, would come on court and give you a talking to?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably not come on court, but, you know, never coaching me. I actually -- yeah, I only saw it this morning. I didn't see -- the boxes are that far away. The coaches' box, you can't actually see a lot that's going on from the other end.

So I actually didn't hear when he got a code violation the first time. So when he got the point penalty, it actually took me by surprise a little bit out there. Yeah, I don't think there was much in it, though. I think he was obviously frustrated and emotions, and a lot of it probably has to do with how Nick served and played (smiling). But for the most part, it was three very quality entertaining sets of tennis.

Q. We just saw outside John getting ice on his ankles. Is he all good to go if he needs to play tomorrow?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he'll be ready if he needs to play.

Q. You spoke about the point that the Brits have had the advantage of being here the whole week, but how much of an advantage do you think that is considering that you're going to have the crowd behind you, Alex won the title here last year, so it would be very familiar, as well, with the surroundings? So if you could just look at that aspect.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. It's 50/50, I guess. For me it's probably just seeing the pace of court out on center court, which I haven't seen yet, the exact pace of court.

You know, there are new companies that laid the courts across Australia this year, so some of the pace has just been slightly different. A hit out here on this court this afternoon was probably a little bit quicker court than the courts up in Brisbane.

It will be more just adjusting to that, I think. But we will have a good warmup tomorrow morning out on center court and get a feel for it.

Obviously the crowd, Alex is pumped that we got the opportunity to come back here and play in Sydney. Pretty special place for him to win his first title, but also the last Sydney International was always here.

Nick hasn't played here for a few years since he played in the International, but he's played Davis Cup matches here. So both boys were really pumped to get the opportunity to come and play in this arena, and obviously we haven't been out there yet with the new roof, as well, but it looks great.

Q. How proud are you of tennis's response to helping bushfire-affected Australians?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's been fantastic I think right across the board. Yeah, everyone has really pulled together. It's something that's affected our whole country, and it's been going on for a bloody long time now, as well.

I know the Australian boys, the players, were, yeah, pretty pumped to try and do something, trying to outdo each other there for a while, but I think after last night Nick's probably taken the cake with the aces count.

But I think as a whole Tennis Australia is trying to do absolutely everything in their power to make the most out of a really tough situation. And obviously I have seen some of the names that they're going to play for I think Aces for the Relief or whatever next Wednesday night in Melbourne.

All the top players are playing in it. That's exciting times. It's very busy time for a lot of these players, as well.

Yeah, even the other night I saw Jan-Lennard Struff after his match see what's been happening, and a guy from Germany comes and sees what the Australian boys have been saying and dealing with, and then he donates because of his aces and stuff, as well.

For me, those are the probably the things that I'm most proud of is some of the international tennis players, and I think they appreciate how well they get treated every time they come to Australia.

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