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


April 20, 2004

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So it's your first win here in Monaco.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I've only been here -- it's only my second time. So last time I came here, I got a pretty tough draw, drawing Moya first round. So things could only get better, I think - from the draw anyway.

Q. What did you make of your form out there today? In the third set you started to play some pretty good shots out there.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I got better as the match went on. At the start I just didn't quite have my footing out there, I don't think. I was probably going for -- trying to be a little bit too aggressive at times when I probably shouldn't have, probably just should have worked the ball a little bit more. You know, it was important to get that kind of match under my belt, I think. From there, I can only get better. I don't feel like the match took that much out of me physically. So, you know, it's a good start to get through. It gives me another opportunity. I got some court time on a clay court surface.

Q. What do you make of the balls? Tim Henman was saying that they're using a different kind of ball here, it's quite hard, compressed ball. He said yesterday it was flying all over the place, sort of accentuating the bad bounces. Did you find that today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: The balls are definitely different to what we played in Indian Wells and Miami, there's no doubt about that. The balls that we had in Indian Wells, especially, were just fluffing up incredible. You know, they were like balloons out there after, you know, one or two games. These balls are , you know, they're quick through the air. They do feel harder. Yeah, I think the biggest concern is changing or having different kind of balls different weeks more than anything. You know, I know a lot of players were talking about it in Indian Wells, about how much the balls are fluffing up there. You'd think on a clay court surface, you know, probably the same balls, they'd fluff up even more with longer rallies, but, you know, here... I don't think it's a bad thing, these balls here. I think they'll keep better longer than the other balls. It's just, you know, that playing with different balls week in and week out.

Q. So much of tennis is in the mind. What's your attitude going into the clay court season? Are you really positive about how well you can do?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think so. I've had some -- my biggest wins on clay have been in Davis Cup ties, I think, under, you know, a lot of pressure and in big situations. You know, obviously the main goal is the French Open, you know, looking forward to the French. For me, the three Masters Series and Dusseldorf, just trying to get as many matches as possible, and really try and get some rhythm out there and feel confident on the surface. It's hard, I think especially for Australians when we come over here, it probably takes a little bit longer to get used to the footing and the moving out there more than anything. A lot of the Spanish and South Americans come straight on the clay and feel straight at home. So it takes a little bit longer but, you know, obviously the goal is to be feeling as well as you can going into the French Open.

Q. Lleyton, speaking of clay, do you tend to agree with Newk's recent comments that Philippoussis should skip the clay given his recent situation and just worry about the grass?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I think you still need some matches, I think. Obviously, the grass would be his main focus, I think. And the way that he played at Wimbledon last year, I'm sure he's looking forward to the grass court season. But it's only a couple of weeks, and in the past he's only played Queen's before Wimbledon. I don't know if that would be the best preparation, just to go in, play Queen's straight off, without getting too many matches before such a big Grand Slam that he has a real chance of doing well at.

Q. Are you at all worried about the situation that's around him now? The fact that he's your Davis Cup teammate, he's a big part of the team, he's been in a trough for months now, I mean, what is your take on the whole situation?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's not probably as confident as he's ever been, I don't think, at the moment. I've hit with him a lot in practice. He's not hitting the ball that badly in practice. You know, just probably hasn't played a lot of matches. And, obviously, you know, a lot of stuff, you know, probably came out, yeah, in the media right after his match against Arazi at the Australian Open. I mean, that was right before the Davis Cup tie. You know, the media probably got on him a little bit, you know, with the whole Davis Cup tie, and that just sort of added to the fire I think. I think a few weeks off will be good for him. I think it's a good thing. And, you know, I think he plans to start in Rome, as far as I know. You know, hopefully he can get some matches before the French Open. I've seen him play some of the best tennis on clay that I've ever seen in Davis Cup in Nice, you know, in '99.

Q. You wouldn't be worried about his mental state, the fact that he preferred, obviously, to go to the LOGIs than come here; the fact that he's got big things coming up - Wimbledon and a Davis Cup - you're not worried particularly about any of those situations?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, the LOGIs are big. They're big back home, so...

Q. You say some of your best wins have been on clay in Davis Cup. When you're playing singles in these tournaments, is it a case of finding extra motivation?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, maybe sometimes in these tournaments. I think, you know, the French Open, that's a Grand Slam, that's what you play for, the four majors, and that's where you want to be peaking. You know, I think the important part, you know, in the next few weeks for me is more thinking about the French Open and not getting too frustrated if things aren't going well the whole time, and really trying to focus on, you know, just finding some rhythm and getting confident on the surface. You know, obviously, I feel like I can play extremely well on clay. I beat Guga, you know, in Brazil when he was at his best, and I beat Costa in Barcelona as well on clay. I feel confident on the surface. But, you know, it probably takes me a little bit longer, as I said before.

Q. There was some kind of old-fashioned "Hewitt Intensity" out there today. Did you struggle a little bit in America to find that level of intensity that's so much part of your game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Maybe a little bit, I think. You know, in Indian Wells I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty well. I thought Chela played extremely well. In Miami, I didn't quite play as well against Pavel. I just didn't feel confident out there that day at all. I tried to keep fighting against Pavel there, you know, I came back after he served for the match. Tried hanging in there. You know, I just wasn't quite able to sneak out of that second set somehow. Today I felt like I really wanted to, you know, no matter how I was playing, just try to get through the match today and give myself another match on clay. It's obviously going to be against Gaudio or Volandri, who are two tough clay court players, so it's going to be a good test for me.

Q. How are things with regard to the political situation between you and the ATP? I know your lawyers deal with all that. But has that been a distraction for you over the past year or so, all the turmoil that's been going on?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. Apart from, you know, the media bringing it up now and then... (smiling). Yeah, as you know, courts and laws and justice takes a long time to sort out, I think. I really haven't had to deal with much at all.

Q. And you're just able to sort of go out, get on with it, and get on with the people, you know, from the Tour in a working relationship basically?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I deal with the people I want to deal with. Not all of them.

Q. What's your opinion on Benneteau?

LLEYTON HEWITT: The bloke I played (laughter)? No, I pronounce his name differently (smiling). Yeah, he's a good player. He's got a good serve. He's a bit flashy out there. You know, there were times when he looked like he was, you know, flashy and would make a few errors, and there were a lot of times where he actually knuckled down and made some good plays. A guy his size with a good serve is always, you know, a bit of a head start. He had a good tournament in Miami. I saw him win a couple matches there. He's a decent player.

Q. After finishing the last year, when have you started preparing this year?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I played in the Hopman Cup at the start of the year. And then, you know, after last year, the end of last year, I was concentrating on the Davis Cup final.

Q. And afterwards, after the Davis Cup final, you had holidays?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I had a couple of weeks off and then was, you know, back into it pretty much training the whole time and practicing on hard court.

Q. And how many hours a day do you train?

LLEYTON HEWITT: 23 and a half (smiling).

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