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August 20, 2005

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Lleyton Hewitt. Questions, please.

Q. You came real close, but he played a rather different way from the way he usually plays, didn't he?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit. He started doing it the last couple of times I've played him. In Indian Wells he definitely played more like he played tonight, so it wasn't -- it didn't come as that great a surprise to me that he, you know, sliced a lot and looped a lot of balls up tonight instead of going for his power, especially off his backhand side. He's tried to do that more and more, I think, in the matches that we've played over probably this year or so - since Houston last year.

Q. Came to the net a lot, too. Serve-volleyed well.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he did. Probably did that a lot more than he's done in the past. I felt like I had opportunities out there and didn't quite take them. And, you know, he served well. The three breakpoints I had in the first set, I had three second serves and he came up with very good second serves every time. And he took the chance, you know, getting that first hit and dictating play. I didn't really get in a rally on any of those breakpoints. Then in the second set when I had Love-30 a couple of times, he came up with aces.

Q. I know you don't make excuses, but could you describe that second-serve ace and overrule at the end, please.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I heard a call, but the crowd all went up and I don't think the chair umpire heard anything. And so I just -- I asked the chair umpire, I said, "Did you hear the guy call it out?" He said, "No, I called the score." I said, "Yeah, but the guy called it out." That was it. Then I went back and asked the linesperson, "Did you call it straightaway," because I heard it straightaway, but obviously I'm standing four meters from him. You know, every time Andy hits a big serve, then obviously the crowd all goes up, and the chair umpire didn't hear a call.

Q. Did the line judge answer you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he said yes. It was no doubt the guy called it. You know, he had his arm out. He yelled it in my ear. It's just the chair umpire didn't hear it.

Q. After that were you distracted, or were you focused on the next point right away?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It was only one point to go and I didn't get my racquet on the ball, so it was a bit hard to be distracted.

Q. Did you just think there's nothing else you could have done, talk to the umpire about it, keep going?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I couldn't keep going. You know, once he's called the score and that, I don't know what else I can do. I called the referee out and he's going to leave it up to the chair umpire. You know, I actually don't know what the proper approach is in that if the linesperson's called it out, because then the chair umpire can always back up and say "Well, I saw it good anyway." So it's sort of a no-win situation even though, you know, I heard the call straightaway.

Q. There was no fist-pumping tonight, "C'mons." Were you feeling a little bit sluggish tonight playing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit. I felt a little bit tired the whole -- obviously, we played a few matches, and I'm backing up after not feeling great last week. So, you know, I can't say I've had the most energy this week.

Q. Did you feel like you were sort of getting more of a read on his second serve as the second set went on?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, for sure. I was definitely getting into a lot more of his service games, and I think that's why he had to start coming up with different things. That's when I started getting a few double-faults. He didn't serve a lot of double-faults in the first set, and I got a few more later on in the second set because, you know, he was definitely having a go and change his game a little bit more and mix it up. That's the kind of high-risk tennis he has to play, though. You're going to have days when it pays off, and you're going to have days when it doesn't.

Q. Given your physical condition, are you reasonably satisfied with your performance this week?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's been pretty good. You know, easily could have lost in the second round to Greg. You know, to come through that and have some tough matches, you know... Tonight, a few points here and there and it could have been a different result. So, yeah, it's still -- it's great preparation for the US Open. You know, he's definitely one of the -- Roger's obviously the favorite, and he's high in the group right behind Roger. So I think I've got better as the week's gone on. If I can keep practicing the next week hard, next Monday hopefully my game will be at an even stronger point.

Q. You have a great record against Andy, and maybe you've got inside his head a little bit in the big matches. Do you think losing a tight match like this will make it more difficult for you next time? Will it help him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I don't think it will play -- you know, for me personally it won't play a big part. Whether he gets a little bit more confident from it, you know, who knows. But, you know, tonight I can still walk away and know that I had, you know -- there was a couple of points, a breakpoint in the first set at 3-2 to me and he hit the edge of the line, outside of the line on a forehand up the line from the alley. So, you know, a couple of inches in it, and I'm serving to go up 5-2 in the first. There's a few points here and there. You know, it's a game of inches, and a couple went his way tonight.

End of FastScripts….

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