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May 8, 2002

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton, please.

Q. Can you give us an idea why you had a point penalty given against you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: What's that?

Q. Can you give us an idea of why you were given a point penalty against you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not really sure. Yeah, I felt like -- well, you know, obviously the code came when I went up there and disagreed with his call. You know, in my opinion, you know, pretty average -- not the actual call, but to play two. I had a play on the ball. I'd say 99.9% of the time in that situation you play two. I argued that and I thought I was within my rights to argue that. You know, I don't know what everyone thought watching or whatever, how late the call was. But I had a play on the ball and there was a call that came out. You know, after that, you know, the point penalty, I won the game. I hadn't had a go at him after that one. I won points or lost points after that game. Then I grabbed a ball. Wouldn't even, you know - you can hardly say "throw" I think , you know, I don't think it was that hard to him - to check a ball. You know, because he didn't want me to -- yeah, he didn't want -- I didn't say anything to him before I threw the ball. That, you know, he took that as -- in anger against him. You know, in the past I've, you know, he's done a lot of -- umpired a lot of my matches and we haven't had a problem. It's the way, I think, you know, at the heat of the moment, how you sort of see it out there. You know, in the end, Carlos came out and played three big points anyway. So I would have lost the game anyway.

Q. So when the supervisor came out, was that at your request?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I just asked if -- but he couldn't do much about it then. You know, he was, you know, at the other court out there. And really, you know, he didn't know what had gone on so... Yeah. It was , for me, just if -- you know, the supervisor or the referee just to be made aware of it basically. I knew nothing could be done because he hadn't seen it or had really no idea what had happened. So...

Q. (Inaudible)? What was his reaction then?

LLEYTON HEWITT: When I said that?

Q. Yeah.

LLEYTON HEWITT: He didn't give me a reason, you know, what he thought. He just -- you know, I said, you know, like two weeks ago that I was throwing the ball in my match against El Aynaoui three or four times, because we were getting dead balls there. I was throwing it to the umpire. Not once did I -- you know, when you throw a ball to the umpire -- it's not like I, you know, turned around and pitched it at him. You know, I throw the ball gently to him. And when that happens, you know, I just assumed in the past that they understand what's going on. Carlos didn't even know what was going on. As you probably saw, he was ready to play on the other side. So, you know, as I said before, it was, you know, weird. As I said before as well, it probably made no difference to the outcome of the match anyway.

Q. At Monte-Carlo, now here presumably, Carlos will be one of the people that you'll be happy to avoid in the French Open?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, probably. He's, you know, you got to give him a lot of credit. He's come back through, playing so well on clay. Then the last couple years, struggling with injuries and stuff. The way he's playing this year, he has a chance at the French Open, there's no doubt about it. To play him first and second round in the two Masters Series, you know, it's, you know, probably not the greatest draws you can get, I'm sure. But I sort of know where I stand going into the French Open, I suppose. And there's areas of my game I can work on. I felt like I, you know -- this evening wasn't, you know, a great move forward I don't think, you know, for the French Open just yet. But I don't see why not, you know, I can't go back to the drawing board and, you know, play a lot better next week in Hamburg, then a week off practicing and really being competitive in Paris.

Q. What makes him so difficult to play for you, Carlos?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. He really didn't make too many errors the last couple of times I played him. Whereas, you know, when I played him on the hardcourts, he's made a lot more errors - especially off his backhand. His backhand's been extremely consistent, I think, the last couple of times. His forehand is no doubt his weapon. But he's got a lot better serve than people give him credit for as well - and especially on clay. He gets a lot of cheap points off his first serve. Whereas a lot of the typical clay court specialists, they sort of just start the point, where he's sort of got an attacking first serve. You know, he sort of puts you on the back foot right from the word "go."

Q. You're such a great competitor out there. You're quite firey. (Inaudible)?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to say. You have to ask them. You know, there's no doubt I play with a lot of emotion out there. That's when I play my best tennis. You know, I feel like most of the time I get pumped up on the right times. And whether, you know, people view it in, you know, a different way sometimes, you know, maybe it's not the best thing. But, you know, I think the majority of times it sort of comes out the right way.

End of FastScripts….

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