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June 10, 2005

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's that man again, Karlovic.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was one of the most exciting matches I've been a part of.

Q. Got lucky with those net cords, didn't he?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, you know, it's like walking in here and having a lucky door prize. You know, that's what happened in the tiebreak. There was one mini-break and, you know, instead of getting a net cord and popping it over his racquet, it sat up for him and he was able to twist back and play an angle dropshot. You know, then even to break me he got a dead net cord. So not a whole heap I can do about those two.

Q. Is this a setback for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I don't think you can take a lot of form off of a match like that. You know, I felt like I probably served as well as I've ever served today. I felt like I was the better player in the first set. You know, if there was any fif-30s, I was the one that had them every time. That's what happens sometimes on this surface. So, you know, sure, I would have liked to have had another match against, you know, a guy like Johansson in the semifinals; it would have been great. It would have been a totally different match again, similar to my first round against Malisse. So, you know, it's not to be. You know, my actual ball-striking and, you know, what I was in control of today was, you know, pretty good, so...

Q. Fair to say you would have liked to have some more competition going into Wimbledon?

LLEYTON HEWITT: In a perfect world I would have liked to have won today and won my next two matches as well and won the tournament. But, you know, I don't think that's going to hold a huge key whether I succeed at Wimbledon or play well at Wimbledon. You know, come Monday, Monday or Tuesday, a week, I'll be ready to go, and it's a different ballgame.

Q. How are you assessing Wimbledon? Who are the dangers, people to watch out for, apart from the usual people?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, obviously, Roger's the favorite, and so he should be. You know, Roddick, Henman, you know, they're probably the next tier, I'd say, behind Federer. You know, then you got dangerous guys like Karlovic, Wayne Arthurs, Philippoussis. There's more; off the top of my head I can't think of them all. But, yeah, they're obviously the stand-outs, I think.

Q. You obviously include yourself in that group, don't you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, for sure. You know, I think there's only, maximum, a handful of guys that can actually hold up the trophy.

Q. How many would you say, half a dozen?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. You tell me. I don't think there's too many.

Q. You've been there and done it. What does it take to be a Wimbledon Champion?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I think, you know, the first week's just a survival week really. You can't win the tournament in the first week of a Slam, but you can definitely lose it. So you've got to go out there and get through your matches. Even if you're not hitting the ball well, you still got to find a way to win. The second week's where it gets to the business end, and that's where you want to play your best tennis because you're going to be coming up against the likes of Federer, Henman, Roddick, you know, obviously Nalbandian, these kind of guys.

Q. How will you get the match practice you need next week? Will you play a few sets, an exhibition?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know. Not sure.

Q. You're not fazed by these young guys coming through: Gasquet, Nadal? Everyone seems to be quite excited about them.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, obviously, Nadal's -- what he's done, won a Slam. He handles the big situations extremely well. But in terms of Wimbledon, it's not going to be his favorite Slam just for the way he plays and what he's grown up on. Gasquet is exactly the same. You know, Gasquet has got extremely big swings. He's got one of the nicest backhands going around. But on a quick grass court, you know, there's elements of danger, and Stepanek knocked him off today. So, yeah, they're definitely exciting players to watch, but I think they're not going to play their best tennis at Wimbledon probably for a few more years.

Q. Last year there seemed to be a huge gap between Roger and the rest. Has that narrowed this year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. Probably coming in, you know, it's hard to say. But probably doubt it right at the moment. He obviously, you know -- even though he lost in the semis of the French, everything on hard court, he's been in pretty good form. You know, Marat is basically the only guy who's beaten him on hard court this year. You know, even that, Roger had a matchpoint in that match, and we know Marat's not, you know, that comfortable on a grass court. So, you know, obviously, Roger's a big favorite. But, you know, Andy gave him a good run for his money last year in the final as well, so that's obviously got to give Roddick some confidence, I think.

Q. How much of a factor today was what happened at Wimbledon a couple of years ago? Was it on your mind at all?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not in my mind, I don't think. You know, it still would have played out exactly the same.

Q. Did it remind you of that at all?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, 'cause I didn't win a set this time.

Q. Just a quick word on Andrew Murray. He's a guy who's done well here. Have you had a chance to look at him, see what he's like?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I haven't, you know, I haven't seen him live. I've seen, you know, some points on TV at times. You know, he looks like a talented player. You know, he looks like he moves well for a big guy. And, you know, obviously to go out there and handle the situation against guys like Johansson and Dent and these kind of players, you know, that's one quality I don't think you can -- you know, you got to be born with sometimes, I think, at that age. So, you know, he's definitely got that in his corner.

End of FastScripts….

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