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August 11, 2002

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.

Q. What's the difference between today's match and yesterday's match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, I think just Carlos is A-class, I guess. He's been there before, he knows how to play the big points well. I think that's probably the biggest difference between him and Gonzalez.

Q. How was your back today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not too bad. It was a little bit stiff before the match. I got some heat cream rubbed into it beforehand, just tried to loosen it up. I didn't feel any twinges out there. Just genuine stiffness. It's fine, I can play with that.

Q. The rain delay, did that have any bearing on your injury, having to stop and start again?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. Not a huge difference. I just had to go through the same routine as I did before I went out to play the first time. So, you know, sure, once you get into the match, you always like to sort of continue it on. But it wasn't that big a difference.

Q. What did you do during the break?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just sat in the change rooms. Did nothing.

Q. Sat where?

LLEYTON HEWITT: In the change rooms. Just not a lot. Just watched the monitor, then got ready to play once. Then, you know, standing out with our bags, then we got told it was raining again. So we had to sit down and go through it all again.

Q. Did you watch it on TV, the match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: The rain or...?

Q. The replay of the first set.

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, no, I haven't seen anything. No.

Q. How many times have you lost a 5-2 lead in a set?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I've definitely done it before, I think, in some stages. Yeah, I didn't make too many first serves. But apart from that, I didn't hit the ball that bad. You know, he just raised his level of game. To his credit, he played some huge points there to get the two breaks. At 5-3, it was a huge opportunity there, if I was able to get into a third set. I felt like at 5-2 I was starting to get on top of him - breaking for the second time that set.

Q. Where do you feel this leaves you in preparation to defend the US Open title?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Hitting the ball well. You know, I've gone up another level since Toronto, which is nice. That's all I can really ask for out of the tournament. Sure, I'm disappointed. I would have loved to have won another tournament like this. But, you know, when you sit back tomorrow and you go through what your preparation is going to be, you know, the next two weeks going into The Open, well, it's going in the right direction at least at the moment.

Q. What are your next two weeks like?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm playing Indy then a week off.

Q. Carlos - I don't know if this is exactly accurate - he said he thought you lost nine matches this year, and seven of them were to Spaniards or South American players. He felt like you maybe had trouble with that style of play. Would you agree with that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know.

Q. If so, what gives you trouble?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I lost to a few of them this year, but I don't think it gives me that much trouble. I think I have beaten them a lot as well. You sort of don't see the first rounds I chop up a lot of the Spanish and South American players as well. Obviously, the guys I've lost to, they've been class players. I lost to Moya, what, twice on clay, now here as well. You know, he's a former world No. 1 and a definite - when he's playing his best - Top 5 in the world. So, you know, that's no bad loss. You know, some of the other guys - Gaudio I remember losing to on clay, which at the time wasn't a bad match because he'd won about 15 matches in a row. Then there was Alberto Martin, first round of the Aussie Open when I wasn't 100%.

Q. What strategy did you have today against him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Obviously tried to, you know, get into, you know, as many rallies as possible and give myself a chance to take the initiative up before he started making me run and moving the ball well. As soon as he gets around and whacks that forehand and he's on the offense, he's an extremely tough player to put back on the defense from that position. I felt like I played pretty well, you know, doing that. But then my serve just let me off once I got to 5-2 in the second set. You know, I was serving well and making, you know -- serving well on big points. When I was deuce and break points down, I came up with a big serve. Then I wasn't able to do that. I think that was sort of the main difference and maybe the turning point from 5-2 up and losing at 7-6.

Q. Did the double-fault in the tiebreak just kill you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. But then again at 5-4 I went for a second serve ace and it paid off. You know, shit happens.

End of FastScripts….

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