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March 26, 2004

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.

Q. Can you describe what it was like out there today.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Windy. Yeah, it was windy out there. It was tough conditions, I think, for everybody. Just had to try and be patient and take your chances when they came and not get too frustrated out there.

Q. Were you having to make lots of adjustments out there with your game from time to time because of the conditions?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Just had to probably pay the percentages a little bit more than normal I'd say. It was hard to go out there and go for a lot of shots. I felt like I served pretty well considering the conditions out there.

Q. Lleyton, that was, I guess, a really good match to get going with in the tournament after the disappointment of last week?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was an awkward match more condition-wise today. You had to go out there. You just couldn't let yourself get too frustrated out there. It was never going to be the most pretty tennis, I guess, to go out there and watch. Yeah, you got to play the percentages and play within yourself a little bit more. So at the end of the day, on a day like that, you're happy to come away with the win. I was happy to get off the court before it started raining.

Q. That was pretty good timing.


Q. The lob, you played that superbly today.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I lobbed well, especially considering the conditions. It's not the easiest shot to play in the wind. You know, nine times out of ten, I played it pretty well today.

Q. Just on sort of a different subject, what are the advantages and disadvantages of playing without a coach like what Federer is doing? Is that something that you've ever done?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's not really something that I've ever done. I think in '98 when I first came on the tour, I didn't have a coach for a while just because I felt like I didn't have anyone that I really knew that well, and, you know, I was just sort of waiting for the person that I felt would be the best at the time for me. Yeah, there's positives and negatives. I think a guy like Roger, he knows what he's doing. At the end of the day, he's going out there, he's confident at the moment, he's playing his own game. It's not going to alter his game a hell of a lot right at the moment.

Q. What would the advantages and disadvantages be in general for a player of not having a coach?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think a coach, more than anything, as a tennis player, because you're one-on-one instead of looking after a football team, it's more being a good mate and enjoying that person's company around the place and getting along with him really well, having the same interests. Whereas in a football coach, it's more they're putting the demands on you, I guess, a lot more over 25, 30 guys.

Q. The advantage of playing without a coach, what would the advantage be?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. As far as I know, he's got a couple of people with him like obviously a masseuse and a trainer and those kind of things, and I think maybe even a mate with him. So those guys probably fill in and book courts for him and do those other odds and sods anyway. At the end of the day, tennis is a one-on-one battle. Roger obviously feels like he can go out there. He's handling it pretty well at the moment.

Q. Bearing in mind the conditions out there today, can you take a lot away from this? Can you gauge how you're actually hitting the ball?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably not a whole heap out of today's match, I don't think. But in practice, you know, the whole last week or so I've been hitting the ball well, ever since I got here. At the end of the day, today it's just one of those matches you want to get out of the way and get in the locker room as soon as possible, I think, and come away with the win and, hopefully, it's not as windy tomorrow. But if it is, you know, or when I play next, I've played one match in those conditions, so at least I should be used to it.

Q. What did you do? Did you get out of Indian Wells as quickly as possible? Did you hit a couple golf balls?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, played a couple of days of golf then came over.

Q. Was it pretty much put out of your mind straightaway or is it something you thought about?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Indian Wells? No, it was out of my mind straightaway.

Q. Pavel in the next round. What are your thoughts? He's an awkward, tricky player.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he is a very awkward player. He played some great matches. He's an all-court player. He's got all the shots in the book. He's got a great single-hand backhand. He attacks well. He mixes in the serve-volley. I just got to go out there and play my game. Obviously, try and finish my service games as quickly and easily as possible, and then I feel like I got a few chances on his service games.

End of FastScripts….

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