March 21, 2003
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
THE MODERATOR: First question, please.
Q. Lleyton, you never looked like you really found your rhythm. You were hitting a lot into the net a lot more than I've seen you. Was fatigue a factor, playing so many matches, or did he just play really, really well?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't play great. Yeah, I didn't feel great out there. That's probably the reason. I still had a lot of chances to win even though I played so bad, so...
Q. We heard you're battling an upset stomach. Can you tell us when it happened?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I got sick last night. I had room service. Was sick as a dog all night.
Q. When you got it back to 4-4, did you feel like you were getting some momentum, getting back in it?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I didn't feel like I was playing well. I think he was tightening up a little bit more than anything. Yeah, I just felt like I couldn't rally out there tonight at all. I felt like I had to go for shots when, you know, most of the time it wasn't really on. You know, really wasn't much I could do out there tonight.
Q. Were you feeling sick tonight or drained because you were up all last night?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I was still feeling sick and it got worse as the match went on.
Q. What was Doug doing? I saw he put a towel on you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: He gave me some stuff to try and settle my stomach down. Yeah, the towel had smelling salts or something on it to try and freshen you up or something he said.
Q. Do you think this might be related to what was going around Indian Wells last week?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I doubt it. I think I ate -- I just think it was food poisoning last night more than anything. It just came too quick, you know, after I had dinner last night. I was feeling 100 percent before that. So it was just very weird.
Q. What hotel is it, so we can avoid it?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not going public with that.
Q. What was it you ate?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. I had a few things and I don't know what it was.
Q. What did you ask for?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Pardon?
Q. What did you ask for, to eat?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I asked for a few things.
Q. Were you throwing up all through today?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I was sick last night and, yeah, I got to bed pretty late.
Q. Here's a guy who's retiring at the end of the year, slashing forehands in the second set like he's got nothing to lose, "Let's go for it." Did you have the same kind of feeling about him this evening?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I -- yeah, he played as well as he could, I think. You know, I still feel like, you know, it was more because I couldn't go out there and play my game that I wanted to play. You know, he mixed the ball up well and, you know, he went out there and gave everything he had.
Q. How disappointing is it for your run to end like that when you have no control over it?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's disappointing, yeah. It's -- yeah, I'm pretty pissed off. But, yeah, shit happens and I got to get on with it and forget about it and try and get healthy and I got a lot bigger matches coming up, including probably two weeks' time, so...
Q. Can you sort of look ahead to the Davis Cup. We probably won't be seeing you anymore here. Davis Cup against Sweden, your thoughts about that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's gonna be a tough match. It's -- I'm glad we got our fully fit side because we're going to need it. They've got -- they always seem to find a little bit extra in Davis Cup. They played a hell of a match with us last time we played them in Sydney in the semis of 2001. We were very lucky to get through that one. I think they play even better at home. They raise it a level there as well. Indoor hard court, I don't think that's going to favor anybody too much. It's a pretty neutral surface. The way, you know, Bjorkman's obviously playing very well at the moment, he held the team together in the Davis Cup. Vinciguerra, not very many nerves. Enqvist is always a bit of a loose cannon. I know he's been struggling over the last year or so, but he's not a player that you'd want to play. He can fire up and if he's on, he's very tough to beat.
Q. You're not going to need firing up for the Davis Cup, but is the fact that you kind of went out here in a bad way going to make it even more important?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I won't be -- soon as I get healthy again, you know, I'm obviously going to start training and getting in the best shape that I can be in for the Davis Cup tie. And, you know, when I get on the court, this tournament's not going to enter my mind.
Q. Are you going to spend more time, do you think, training here?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I haven't even thought about it yet.
Q. Are you going to approach the French Open differently than you have in the past?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm not sure what I'm playing at the moment. It's not 100 percent sure. I know I'm playing Barcelona. After that, I'm not really sure where I'm going to go. So I'll sort of just play it by ear, how my body's feeling. Yeah, hopefully I can judge it as well as possible. I don't think my preparation in the years before have been that bad. I've tried the World Team Cup a couple of times. Last year I didn't try it and, you know, it's hard to sum up the positives and negatives about that tournament. It's a fantastic tournament but whether it's too much before the Slam, I'm not really sure. I'm going to have to think about it.
Q. I missed the very beginning. Was your stomach still upset at the start of the match, or were you feeling okay at that point?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It was as soon as I started running that I started feeling it the most. Then it just got worse and worse, and when he gave me something to drink, it sort of settled it down for a couple of games, then it just came straight back again. It was a little bit fighting a losing battle.
Q. Do you think Clavet knew that and was trying to keep you out there as long as possible?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, who knows. His game's to sort of rally the ball. You know, he's an extremely fit player. You've got to be able to be fit yourself and run a lot of balls down. He's going to make you work extremely hard to win points and win the match. You know, whether he knew it or not, I'm not sure. But there wasn't much I could hide, I don't think.
Q. Have you started to think of going back to Wimbledon as defending champion, or is it much too early to give that thought?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. No, it's still a while off. But, yeah, it's gonna be a -- something pretty special, playing the first match on Centre Court. Yeah, I'll be looking forward to that day when it comes. But still hopefully some big matches before then.
Q. Would you expect to play one of Rome or Hamburg or not necessarily?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably, probably. I may play both. I'll just play it by ear, how I'm feeling at the time, how my body's feeling, how many matches I've had leading in. Nothing's sort of laid down in cement this year.
Q. Monte-Carlo is not necessarily on your schedule?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably not.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.