March 14, 2003
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
MODERATOR: With the win today, Lleyton advances to his third straight semifinal here in Indian Wells, and improves his career record to 16-4 at this tournament. Questions for Lleyton.
Q. And also reserves his world No. 1 ranking, although yesterday you said you aren't that concerned about it. I suspect it's quite nice, an addendum to the result?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's nice, but you're going to lose it some week. Doesn't really bother me. You know, I didn't come to Indian Wells to try and hold on to my No. 1 ranking; I came here to win the tournament. I'm still in with a good chance. I'm through to the semis now. Four matches down, two to go. That's pretty much where my thinking's at. I played better today. I'm happy with the way that, you know, I came out and won the match efficiently, got on and off the court pretty convincingly.
Q. Most comfortable one this week?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Yeah, I guess, you know, because I didn't lose serve for the whole match, I kept my nose in front once I got up a break. You know, I saw a little bit of Robby's match yesterday. He played extremely well. He was full of confidence, had nothing to lose out there today. He started better today than he did against me in Cincinnati. When I was able to get up that one early break in the first set, I think his confidence got sort of a little bit of a dent in there and his game sort of went away a little bit.
Q. Nine in a row for you. Could this be the roll we talked about in Scottsdale?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know how long it's going to keep going. But was it nine in 11 days I've won now. That's a lot of tennis. You know, you throw in the doubles that I played as well as making the final there. I played a lot of tennis. I've got that match toughness going now, match hardened. I'd like to keep it going. You know, you've got to take it one step at a time, though. Don't want to get carried away because you're on a winning streak, you're going to keep going. Go out there with an open mind and play as well as you can.
Q. But the confidence and mental toughness are there?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. It's hard to lose it, I guess, when you go out there to play and you've won nine matches in 11 days. You realize that. I realize that I've come through a couple of pretty tough matches, especially this week against El Aynaoui and Coria. You know, I know I've got a couple tough ones under my belt and I survived those.
Q. Are you feeling now like you're unbeatable?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not really. Not unbeatable. I don't think anyone's unbeatable. I feel like my confidence is high at the moment. I feel like I can beat anyone on any given day, yes. But unbeatable, you know, I think you can leave that to Tiger.
Q. Just commenting on the point of nine in 11 days, et cetera. As a streak like that continues, is there the risk of somehow that putting pressure on you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, no. Not for me. I see every match as a challenge, as a new challenge. You know, I'm not putting any more pressure on myself. I'd much rather be, you know, nine in a row going into this semifinal tomorrow than, you know, making the quarters or the semis and losing in Scottsdale. So for me to have that winning feeling going, I've had it a few times going, you know, winning Adelaide and Sydney back to back, doing well in those tournaments. I've had it in the Queen's, Rosmalen, Wimbledon time frame. I know how that sort of winning streak goes. I like the feeling of it, having that confidence on your side.
Q. How about your match with Spadea coming up?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You've got to take your hat off to Vince. Hell of an effort for what he's done. The way that he's come back after losing so many first rounds there for a while, he obviously broke the drought against Rusedski at Wimbledon. We really didn't see him for a while after that. He was playing the challengers and the futures. The way he's bounced back and gone about his business very quietly, sort of got his ranking back up there, it's pretty amazing.
Q. Have you played him before?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes.
Q. Where was the last time?
LLEYTON HEWITT: At least twice, maybe more.
MODERATOR: Two times.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's a tough competitor. He's not going to give anything away. He moves very well, has a good baseline game. He passes well, counterattacks very well. I'm not going to worry about his game too much. I'm going to go out there and play my game and hopefully I'm not going to have to change too many things. If I do, then I do.
Q. If you didn't think about No. 1 all week, did you think about it today beforehand?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No.
Q. Was it afterwards you thought about it?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think about it at all. I couldn't care less. As I said before, I didn't come here for No. 1. I'm going to lose it some week, doesn't bother me when.
Q. Do you hear it when they announce you as world No. 1?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I hear some of the things they say. It's pretty hard not to (smiling).
Q. You do know about being world No. 1?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I know that I'm world No. 1, yes (laughter).
Q. That's got to be a good feeling.
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's not bad. When they say former world No. 1, that's not a bad feeling I don't think either. I'm sure Pete, Rios, guys that have been No. 1, I don't think they mind being called the former world No. 1.
Q. You mentioned Vince is sort of going about his business nicely and smoothly. Do you feel the same yourself, the fact that the pressure is off, you're not in Australia, not in the spotlight, and here you can go about your business a little bit more not casually as such, but without the burden or the pressure, pressure, pressure?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's definitely not as much pressure I guess coming from the media and expectation from the media I think more than anything. But, you know, that's natural. You know, that's up to Andy and James and whoever else they want to put it on here in America. Everyone has that, all the top guys. When they go back to their home country, it's like Tim in June, me in January.
Q. Do you feel as perhaps relaxed in this part of the year as you do anywhere? Your results would suggest you probably do.
LLEYTON HEWITT: I like the stretch. You know, Scottsdale, even San Jose last year, Indian Wells, Miami, I've always loved these tournaments. I think the courts suit me, the weather, the conditions. Great hotels. You know, the climate, everything out here, I think everything's pretty easygoing. For me I can really enjoy, you know, those outside things I guess at these tournaments.
Q. Couple games of golf this week?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I had nine holes on Monday afternoon. I would have liked to have had more. I can't do much about it at the moment.
Q. Kim was in here earlier talking about her superstitions.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, yeah?
Q. Sitting on the couch at the hotel, going to bed at the same time, what she eats.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Fair enough. I didn't know about those.
Q. She says she's trying to some degree to convince you to eat things like broccoli and stuff, instead of the hot dogs.
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't mind the hot dogs. Yeah, I think she watches what she eats a lot better than I do. I can't believe she dobbed me in. I'm actually not that bad. I've improved a hell of a lot since I was 14, 15, 16. Yeah, the vegetables, they're not bad, but not the best thing.
Q. She said that you have improved.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'd say, you know, during tournaments and that, I eat as well as any player out there. It's more so my weeks off. I think that sometimes I let myself, you know, let go a bit - ice cream, chocolate, those kind of things. I love to go to the footy and have a hot dog and chips, mate. Tonight as well.
Q. Can you pick one American under 25 at this point that you think could really rise to the top? Who do you think it would be?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's impossible with injuries or whatever. The two front-runners are obviously Roddick and Blake. They're the two front-runners. You know, it depends. A lot depends on I guess who gets a big breakthrough at a Slam first, and then can really take off from there, as well. But, you know, both guys can handle the big situations very well. You know, they've both proved -- I don't know what Blake's ranking is, but I'm sure he can get in the Top 10 pretty soon. And Andy's already 5 or 6 in the world. That's not bad anyway. That's not a bad start.
Q. Do you have any superstitions?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really.
LLEYTON HEWITT: No.
Q. Lie to us.
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't have any. I can't think of any anyway.
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