June 27, 2000
MODERATOR: Lleyton Hewitt.
Q. How do you explain that, or can you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I just had one of those days really. I struggled off the ground the
whole day. The court I found very slippery out there. It didn't suit my game at all today.
You know, you can't take anything away from the way Jan-Michael played. He was too good
Q. Would you say it's a psychological thing or more of a physical thing; it just didn't
happen for you today?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's one of those days. You know, it's just a shame. You know you're
going to have days like this, but you just hope it happens in a World Series event or a
little bit smaller event than Wimbledon. There's not a lot I can do about it. You know,
I'm going to get it out of my mind as quickly as possible. Obviously I'm going to learn a
bit from this match, as well. You know, I've got to block it out and think about Davis Cup
now and then the American summer.
Q. The first sets you didn't look particularly pumped up or your normal self. Were you
LLEYTON HEWITT: Wasn't much to get pumped up about.
Q. Sometimes you get yourself up.
LLEYTON HEWITT: I tried as much as possible out there. I really had very little
chances, particularly on his serve in the first two sets. He just served bombs the whole
time. It wasn't till, you know, halfway I think sort of the second or third service game
of his in the second set where I actually got my chance. You know, he was serving a lot of
first serves. He served a lot of aces. There's not a lot you can do about it when you're
in that situation.
Q. Is there any other tournament where you could feel quite as hopeless when things are
going the way they developed for you today because of the nature of the surface and all
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to say. Obviously I haven't experienced any other, I suppose,
worse than today.
Q. It's been sort of almost impossible to pick up a paper without seeing your picture
in it. Has that affected you at all coming into this?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not at all. I think I'm used to that, living in Australia, playing
the Australian summer, doing very well in the Australian summer every year. It's probably
very similar buildup to the Australian Open the last couple of years.
Q. Do you think you lost the game in your mind or on the court today?
LLEYTON HEWITT: The whole time I still felt that I had a chance at winning. I never
doubted myself until it was over today. Even though I was 5-2 up in the third set there,
you know, even when I got 6-5 down, I felt like I could still break in that game. I did
have breakpoint there. Get out of it in the tiebreak. You know, it was just a little bit
disappointing that I didn't take my chance late in the third set there. Who knows, you're
two sets to one, if I did break twice and win that set 6-2 - I think I had three set
points, he served two aces on two of those - who knows if I could have broken him twice,
would have had a lot more confidence going into the fourth and maybe even the fifth set.
Q. Was there anything about his game that surprised you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No. Jan-Michael is a great player. I think up to this date, it's a
little bit of a waste I suppose, some of his results. He beat me in the Scottsdale final a
year and a bit ago now. I got a little bit of revenge - when was it - Miami in the
quarterfinals there. He's a great player. I've got a lot of time for his game. He's got a
very big game. If he's on, he's very big.
Q. Did having last week off have anything to do with today's result?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not really. I started hitting Thursday afternoon lightly, then just
sort of built up as the days went on. You know, there's no excuse at all.
Q. What actually happened to you last week? Were you injured?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I just had a little bit of a strain on my ankle. I didn't want to risk
anything on average grass courts. Even though I did play well in Queen's, I tweaked it a
couple times, had to have a lot of treatment and that. I didn't think that was the best
preparation going into Wimbledon. Who knows, if I won a couple of matches there, it was
going to maybe swell up and I didn't want to risk it.
Q. You were okay today?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I was fine.
Q. Did winning Queen's and that match against Sampras take a lot out of you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not really. No, not at all. The only thing it gave me was a lot of
confidence, I suppose. Yeah, today doesn't show anything of what came out of Queen's I
don't think at all. You know, I've still -- if you think about the two tournaments that I
did play on grass, it's probably a shame that you don't get to play more tournaments on
grass. Obviously the next Davis Cup tie is on grass. I'm still going to have a lot of
confidence going into the Davis Cup tie against Brazil. If I do play that single's spot,
I'm going to go out there and hope. I'm sure that I'm going to lift my game from today and
play something like I did in Queen's.
Q. Do you think this harms your chances of the single's spot?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's up to Newc and Rochey. I'm a hundred percent behind whoever they
select. Obviously I think we're pretty dangerous with the three of us, you know, in the
team. I don't think it damages anything really. As I said, I played one bad match. I think
everyone has that.
Q. How much slower was the court here than at Queen's?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It was definitely a bit slower. I would say it was probably closer to
the first couple of days of Queen's, I think. The semis and final days were lightning
quick at Queen's. I think they cut it down a lot more. I just noticed it wasn't as true a
court as Queen's, not even close. It's a lot more slipperier out there than Queen's.
Q. Are you disappointed to see you were playing Jan-Michael the first round, because he
does have a reputation to create some upsets in his career, even though he hasn't that
steady a career?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Obviously, you know, he's not the easiest person, the person you would
want to play first round. You'd much rather play him with a couple matches under your
belt, feel like you're in the tournament. That's tenniis, I suppose. That's sport. I've
had some good draws in the past, and I've had some average draws. There's not a lot you
can do about it.
Q. The buzz this week is that you might be ready to break through and win a Grand Slam
title. People are asking others if they felt you were ready. In your own mind, did you
feel you were?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, it's hard to say, I suppose. I haven't made a quarterfinal of
a Grand Slam. I haven't been there towards the latter stage of a Grand Slam as yet. You
know, that's sort of the next step that I've got to take, I suppose. The Masters Series
I'm starting to get up there with a couple of semis now. The next step is definitely to
sort of make it through to that Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday of the second week in
the Slams. You know, there's still areas in my game that I've got to work on. Obviously in
the back of your mind you don't think you're going to go out there and win Wimbledon. I
was just taking it one match at a time.
Q. Pat said that the court was slippery, that he wasn't confident getting to the net to
volley. Were you the same today?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I just felt the whole court was slippery. I don't know. You know,
obviously Pat and I play totally different games. He's going to look for a lot more
opportunities to come to net than me. I just felt I didn't have any footing around the
court at all. It was very hard if you did get pushed out wide, with my more baseline game,
I really did struggle to sort of get myself back in the point, whereas at Queen's, sort of
I could loop a ball back, get my footing back, have a little bit of time, get back in the
Q. Can you remember the last time you felt as disappointed as you do now?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. You have it nearly every week (laughter). I don't like losing.
Q. Not Centre Court at Wimbledon.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Centre Court at the Australian Open playing Norman in front of your
home crowd in the Round of 16 when you're hitting the ball, you've just won two
tournaments, hitting the ball great. Probably more disappointing, I'd say that one. Yeah,
obviously I've had a lot of ups this year and I've had a couple of downs. The Davis Cup
final last year when you lost to Cedric, I think that's probably the all-time low.
Q. Is your disappointment lightened by Kim's win?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I didn't see the match. Sorry.
Q. Do you still feel you have a future in this tournament?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I hope so (laughter).
Q. Even though you lost in the first round today, beaten by Boris last year, two
powerful guys that have beaten you. If you're going to have trouble getting to the net
because of the surface, must be a bit of a worry.
LLEYTON HEWITT: No worry at all. I think I'm only going to get better and better here
at Wimbledon. I see the way that I played at Queen's, if I can get through to the second
week, you know, the court becomes quicker and quicker, obviously gets a lot dryer out
there, better underfoot. It's no big deal. 12 months from now I'm sure I'm going to be a
better player than I am now. I'm going to be hungrier, as well, to do better here.
Q. What are your plans now?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Haven't even thought about it. Davis Cup is the next thing. I haven't
really even thought about it.
Q. Staying here to see how Kim goes for the rest of the tournament?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I've got to talk to Newcombe and Roche about Davis Cup commitments.
Obviously Davis Cup comes first. I don't want to put anything -- I want to put everything
on the line and give myself the best chance of playing well in Brisbane. There's not a lot
of time after the tournament here.
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