March 28, 2004
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Was it a matter of you today, or was Andrei playing too well? His backhand looked just beautiful today.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he played well. Yeah, I didn't quite take my opportunities when they came and, you know, didn't -- I served well in patches. Served a lot of double-faults. You know, I just felt like I had opportunities early in the first set and wasn't able to capitalize on them. And then the same in the second set. You know, then put myself in the situation of trying to claw my way back out of the second set. Wasn't able to quite do that. But he definitely played well, though.
Q. Have you ever let a game get away like that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I let a few get away today.
Q. You did. But that last game?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, no, I gave him a few chances and, you know, it definitely should have gone to a tiebreak. Yeah, there's not a lot you can do about it now, but...
Q. What do you feel you need to do?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I just made a couple of, yeah, unforced errors on love-15, 15-30 points on his service games halfway through the first set, where I felt like I really had an opportunity to crack the match wide open. He's the kind of guy who plays a lot better when he's a frontrunner, I feel, when he's got his head up and he's hitting the ball well. He's a sweet hitter of the ball as well. So his whole game got better and better, and it got tougher for me to get myself into the match from then on. I just didn't quite take my opportunities when I had, you know, love-30, 15-30, 30-all points.
Q. Were most of those opportunities squandered at the net?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, couple of times. There's a couple of long points where I came to the net and ended up, you know, missing , you know, not that easy volleys. He hit the ball pretty well. It's hard to volley sometimes in the wind as well when the ball's dipping like that. They're definitely makeable volleys, yeah. I think a couple of times I tried to do a little bit too much with him instead of just making him play a pass.
Q. What's special about his backhand?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I guess it's a very free shot, very free-flowing shot out there. He's able to hit, you know, down the line, cross court, he hits angles very well and he can attack off it as well.
Q. What's up for you now?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not sure (smiling). Don't know yet.
Q. Shopping with Kim?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Doubt that.
Q. You guys won the Davis Cup and then within months the process starts all over again, not much time to savor it. Would you like to see a situation where it's like the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup in golf where it's every other year as opposed to every year? What are your feelings on that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, I've spoken about it a lot. I feel that, you know, there should either be a bye for the first -- for the two finalist countries, make it a four-team World Group, or they should be every second year. That's my feeling. I know there's a few people out there, and I think, you know -- I don't think it's great for the game that Australia obviously bombed out in the first round this year after winning it. Spain was very close to bombing out and they had their B or C team in. They didn't have Moya or Ferrero who played in the final, purely because Ferrero had played that much tennis. Was ridiculous. I don't think that's good for the game. I don't think that's good for Davis Cup. If you want the best players playing every tie, then you've got to work out a situation that's going to benefit the players.
Q. Is Adam Scott a mate of yours? What do you think of him going into the final round of the TPC with a chance to win that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I met Adam at the Australian PGA in December last year. He's a great kid. He's a very likable kid. Yeah, he is a helluva player. I've been watching a little bit, and I've got no doubt - I don't know what it is now - but if he plays the way he did yesterday, then he's going to be in pretty good stead. It's going to take a pretty good player to beat him.
Q. You started off the year very strong and you're in a bit of a rut the last few weeks. What do you think is going on with your game?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I feel like I'm hitting the ball okay the last couple of weeks . My first rounds both weeks, I played well. Against Chela last week, I thought he played extremely well, just as well as I've seen him play. Still, I had a lot of love-40, love-30 games and I wasn't able to capitalize. Little bit the same today. So when you look back on it, you know, you got to take your opportunities when they come. It's disappointing, but I don't think I'm hitting the ball that badly.
Q. Do you think you're playing too conservatively, not taking enough risks at times?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Maybe at times, but then a couple of times I went for it off his second serve and made a mistake, so... Yeah, you could look at it both ways.
Q. Who do you think has the best second serve in the men's game?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. There's a lot of tough ones, I guess. Roddick's probably going to be up there. He gets obviously a lot of kick on it. He can hit it hard as well. Federer's got a great second serve as well. There's a lot of guys out there that, you know, I think they have pretty good second serves.
Q. When you say you don't know what's up, have you planned your European schedule?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, no. I was more, you know, seeing how I was feeling and just playing it by ear. Yeah, depending if I go back to Australia or go straight over to Europe as well.
Q. You don't have to play Davis Cup until September?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No.
Q. Are you feeling all right, though, for the most part? You're not capitalizing on the moments, but you're feeling fine?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, pretty good. Yeah, you know, I've been, yeah, feeling pretty good in practice and feeling pretty good about my game most days, I think, so... Yeah, it's a little bit disappointing, but, you know, I won't worry about it too much.
Q. Still a couple months away to the clay court season. Who do you like going into Roland Garros?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, obviously the three guys that probably stand out are Ferrero, Coria and Moya, going on last year's form. But, you know, Coria sort of popped up last year without anyone really knowing I guess. Federer is going to be tough to beat on that surface as well. There's always going to be Nalbandian, Gaudio, you know. There's a lot of good clay court players around so...You know, not going to be too many easy matches.
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