home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 10, 2002

Lleyton Hewitt


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

Q. Was there any point in that second set where you thought you might lose?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really - not lose. I don't think that thought ever entered my mind. It was more did it ever enter my mind, "What the hell he's going to do next," yes. I had no idea. He's a tough player to play. You know, he gives you absolutely no rhythm. I thought Wayne Arthurs didn't give me a lot of rhythm just with his serve and that, but this guy was just -- he's just letting go from the back of the court or wherever he is. He hits the ball as hard as he can every time. It's tough to play that kind of player.

Q. He said you were a fighter, that on the real important points, that's when you play the best. Do you agree with that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I guess, yeah. I guess that's probably been the case a little bit over the last few years. You know, you sort of look at the guys in the Top 10, Top 15 in the world, and the guys who have been able to win Slams, they're able to step it up on the big points when it matters in big tournaments, in big situations. The semifinal is big here. When I was down a few break points, I came up with a big serve every time. I was 2-1 down in the second set, came up with a pretty good serve every time I was down a break point. I think it just -- it comes with a lot of practice and being very mentally tough out there, I guess, when it comes to the big situations. You know when to step it up and have that self-confidence out there.

Q. Is that just your attitude, though, in every match, that you just don't feel you're ever going to lose it? Or was this specifically with him tonight?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I never feel that -- there's always a chance that you're going to lose, of course, but it never enters my mind when I'm out there playing. Then, too, I'm one of those people - as everyone knows - I go out there and give 100%. Too, you got to go up and shake hands at the end of the match. There's so many times, I think people have seen, where, you know, one or two points change the whole outcome of a match. You know, sometimes when you get through those matches, it changes the whole outcome of the tournament. You feel like you've sort of survived one and you're half lucky to be in there, then everything sort of changes.

Q. You had 20 aces, and really your serve was such a strong weapon. Is that a little unusual for it to be that strong?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I actually didn't feel like I served that great out there. I don't think I got a -- probably 45, 48%, I think, first serves. I'd be guessing.

Q. 47.

LLEYTON HEWITT: 47, thanks (smiling). Make me sound good. And as I said, he's a strange guy to play. He was guessing a lot of the times on the return. He sort of was jumping immediately inside the baseline and guessing which way. So, you know, he'd make me look bloody good with a nice ace out wide which he missed by three meters, or he'd wail it past me for a winner if he guessed the right way. I didn't serve that great. He probably made it look a little bit better than it was. When he runs around, smacks a few big serves, second serves as winners like he did there, especially in the tiebreak in the first set, then he makes your serve look pretty ordinary as well.

Q. Did you tweak your back?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I've had a bit of stiffness the last week or so, week and a half. I've been getting treatment every day on it. And I could just feel it getting a little bit stiff out there. Then I actually felt something sort of -- some twinges in there towards the end of the second set. I was just a little bit concerned. I actually wasn't going to call the trainer. Then I felt like I had the momentum. I didn't want to sort of let up on that at all after winning the second set, and I was just going to play through it. Then he had a toilet break, I saw Doug sitting on the sidelines, I wanted to try to keep it as warm as possible that change of ends.

Q. Was that more of a prevention type of thing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I could feel it out there. I've been getting treatment every day on it anyway. So, you know, it's been a little bit sore. But I think it's nothing, you know, that's going to pull me out of anything. I can definitely play through it.

Q. Do you know how you did it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, it's just general stiffness. The thing that worried me a little bit tonight -- I've been playing through it. I felt stiff in that area every day I've been on the court, practice and that. Normally, the adrenaline's pumping in the matches. I didn't feel that bad in the Agassi match last night, I was stretching a lot. There was a couple of times tonight where I was stretching on my serve, a few times that I felt a pinch, a bit of a - I don't know if it's a nerve sort of reaction, but like a twinge out there. That's why I called Doug, just to try to warm up so I didn't further damage it.

Q. How does it feel now? Is it something that goes away quickly with a bit of therapy?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know. Not sure. Could wake up tomorrow morning, it could be stiff. I got no idea. I can't see it being a big problem.

Q. Carlos Moya.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's very tough. He's probably been -- since Wimbledon, since he's been back on the clay, he's probably the form player, I guess. What did he win, a couple of tournaments and another semi or something? He's a tough player to play. He's obviously getting back to his -- I think what we all think he's capable of doing and what he proved when he went to No. 1 in the world a few years ago. I've got a lot of time for Carlos, he's a really nice guy as well.

Q. How much of what you did tonight owes simply to your refusal to give in, your unwillingness to lose?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Possibly a fair bit. There's tough matches, I guess, when you get in those situations and, you know, a lot of guys would probably hop for the easier option, I guess, rather than hang out there and keep fighting. That's one of my main qualities.

Q. Are you aware of the effect that has on your opponent?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I've never really worried about it. It's just me. I've always done it, and, you know, I'll keep fighting until I got to go and shake hands at the end of the match. But, yeah, I don't know if it does have an effect; that they think, you know, they've got to put me away right to the very last point. That's definitely an advantage for me.

Q. You seemed to get off in a strange way. What was going on in that first set? Was it just a matter of feeling him out?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, little bit. As I said, he's a strange player to play against. I'm still struggling to work out how he plays (laughter). The first few games he was sort of rolling his serve in, then he'd run around, smack a forehand back fence, then he'd hit a winner. I just tried to keep a few balls in play. Then I lost my serve in the third game. I hit two double-faults, and I sort of went for my serve a little bit more because a couple of points before that he ran around and hit probably one of the biggest forehands I've ever seen on a second serve. I went for it a little bit. I probably really didn't have to pull the trigger at that point in the third game, you know. If I was playing him again, then I probably wouldn't have gone for it so much early on. But then he played -- as I said, he came out and played the back fence four points in a row in the next game and gave me the break back straightaway.

Q. The way he hits it, does it make you want to be more aggressive with your serve?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Yeah, little bit. You always know that as soon as you hit a ball that's slightly short, even, you know, sometimes you hit a good depth ball, and he'll still try and whack a winner off it. Sort of gets you on the defensive straightaway. When you have an opportunity to attack, it's pretty important. I can't say he's got the best defensive skills around.

Q. Now that you have a victory over him, how can you assess his skills, his talent? Can he be a threat at the US Open?


Q. Yes.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, for sure. He's a tough player to play against. He's beaten Henman, Krajicek and Roddick three matches in a row. They're three class players. They're contenders for the US Open. So I can't see why he's not a chance. But then again, you have five sets playing that style of tennis. Then, you know, it's gonna be tough to do it, you know. But with his power, I think he's gonna have days when he looks incredible and he's gonna have days when he struggles a bit.

Q. Also yesterday you complimented his forehand. What can you say about his backhand?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's got a nice backhand. I think he's probably -- over the last few months, I think it's gotten better and better since I saw him play last. He was more inconsistent on it a few months ago. Now he probably waits for the right ball a little bit more on his backhand. Obviously, though, his forehand is still his main strength. You know, he's always trying to run around his backhand to hit that forehand.

Q. In your opinion, what makes him a great player?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. A little bit like Andrew Ilie, I guess. I don't know how much experience is gonna be. With some of those guys, they sort of can look incredible and they play very entertaining tennis. But on big points, is that always going to help you win the big matches? I don't know. Some matches it will, some it won't, I'm sure. But whether he can learn to I guess sort of - I don't know - control his power a little bit in some important points, then that may help him.

Q. How was your confidence at the end of the first set when he won the tiebreak? Did you think you could lose the match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: There was always a chance I could lose, but it never entered my mind, you know. It's only a set, you know? Two sets to go. I was right in that set. Had 4-3, love-30, missed a short forehand I probably could have gotten. He's the type of guy that gets down on himself and strings together a lot of errors when you put that pressure on. Really, I felt like I could have just been serving for the first set at 5-3. So I tried to take the positives out of the set. And I knew his game a little bit better going into the second set, but it was still tough out there.

Q. You played Carlos three times this year. Talk about those matches.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I won the first one in Indian Wells first round. Then I lost in Monte-Carlo and Rome.

Q. Different surface.

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's on clay, obviously. I'd prefer to play on hard court; I think everyone knows that. And, yeah, he's a great hard court player as well. He's playing a lot better, I think, than he was in Indian Wells. He was just starting. I could tell there that he was -- I think he won a tournament the week before Indian Wells on clay, maybe Acapulco or something like that. But he actually was starting to time the ball like he did when he got to No. 1 after winning the final of Indian Wells or something that one year. He was starting to get around and use his forehand and his first serve. He's got a big first serve for sort of a "clay court specialist" type of guy. He's very underrated.

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297