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February 2, 2021

Lleyton Hewitt

Alex De Minaur

John Millman

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Team Australia

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Lleyton, can you tell us the key in the two matches today.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. It was always going to be tough matchups. We found out just before, we just finished our warmup basically, that Rafa wasn't going to play, so that obviously changed our thinking with who the boys were up against and their focus obviously had to change, tactics and how they're gonna play.

Yeah, all credit to both Spaniards, they played extremely well. Carreno Busta was hitting the ball like a dream the whole match, looked very comfortable on the hard court out there, and, yeah, Johnny had a couple of chances there, wasn't quite able to take it. No, he was too good tonight.

Then Bautista, Alex was on top early, and was playing great. Bautista changed his game a little bit, and to his credit was able to get back into the match. And in the end it was some really quality tennis from both players, and Alex was, yeah, unlucky to lose.

Q. Alex, how did Rafa's late withdrawal impact your preparation specifically?

ALEX de MINAUR: Well, look, I mean, obviously going in you're expecting to play Rafa, but we got the call. Well, we got told at the warmup, and, I mean, you just go reset and focus on your new opponent which I obviously knew quite well.

Yeah, I mean, it didn't affect me too much. I mean, I had a game plan, was playing some good tennis and it kind of slipped away today.

Q. What did both of you take from your matches?

ALEX de MINAUR: Look, obviously there's some great tennis in there. First match of the Aussie summer. So, look, it's always a bit of added nerves and pressure, but happy I was able to bring a high level today. Wasn't able to sustain it as much as I wanted to, but, hey, it's work in progress.

JOHN MILLMAN: Look, not much. I didn't play that great but Pablo was very good. I think probably just getting a bit more court time. These courts are a fair bit different to what I have been practicing on. Yeah, probably just time out on the court is pretty important right now.

Q. Alex, your thoughts on playing tomorrow, facing Stefanos Tsitsipas? You haven't beaten him before. But it's been well over a year since you last played him. What are your thoughts going into that one?

ALEX de MINAUR: He's a very high-level player. He's up there for a reason, and, look, I'm going to be looking forward to going out there and testing myself. I mean, look, I feel like today I was able to kind of, in a way, dust a bit of the nerves, cobwebs, and I'll be ready to go tomorrow. Hopefully I can bring it.

Q. John, if you were able to take back anything in that match today and change it, what would it be?

JOHN MILLMAN: Probably try to maybe slip something in Pablo's drink, a laxative or something (smiling). No, look he was really good today. You've got to give credit where credit is due. Probably needed slightly better court position, needed to execute a couple of the bigger points a little better.

And you know, that's maybe not abnormal due to the fact that it's your first match back after, you know, a bit of a break. Sometimes those little 1 percenters just aren't there. That was the case for me.

I'm pretty disappointed with that, and hopefully tomorrow we can rebound. And, yeah, get some more time out on court which is really important I think leading into an Australian Open, too.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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