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March 29, 2002

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.

Q. Two and a half hours last night. Little bit tired today coming out here?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, little bit. You know, I didn't -- I got off to a bad start as well, which probably hurt a little bit in the end. First game I had a few chances - 30-alls. Then, second game, I was up on my serve and lost it. If you can sort of get into the match, next game I had two break points to get back. Could have been easily up at least one break, you know, on my way. And it makes it a little bit easier from there. You go down straight a break straightaway, it's a long way home.

Q. Is it possible to be tired out there but not feel tired? Your muscles just aren't reacting as they normally do?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. You know, in Australia with the chicken pox and that, that was a case of thinking you had energy when you didn't. But, you know, that's a bit different, too, out there tonight.

Q. He hasn't been broken in this tournament yet. Can you just talk about how his serve has come along since the last couple times you faced him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He's serving well, but I still had chances. I had a lot of 30-all games. As I said, I had a breakpoint -- few break points early in the first set in the third game. Then I had break points his first service game of the second set as well. So, you know, I had chances out there. You know, he's serving well and he's playing the big points well. In the end, if I played the big points well, could have been a different story.

Q. How do you look at him? He's very gifted; everybody knows that. Do you feel he can be a rival for you for No. 1 this year? Do you think he lacks some consistency?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think he's getting more and more consistent every tournament. You know, he's had a pretty good start to this year, winning Sydney, playing a great match at the Australian Open, losing to Haas. Then, you know, at least making a final I think somewhere else as well. He's had a good start. I think this year could be a pretty big breakthrough year for him. Whether he's going to get up to top four or five, that's another question.

Q. Did you feel his presence at the net in the second set, in a sense that you changed the shots you wanted to go for?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I didn't think he came in, you know, heaps. You know, he volleys well. He's an all-court player. I didn't feel like I had to, you know, change my game though a lot to go for different shots than I normally would on the pass. I wasn't passing probably as well as I have in the past, but, you know -- in some other matches. But I don't think that was the time to sort of change what direction or how I was hitting the ball.

Q. Had that one volley right back at him in the second set giving him an easy pass?

LLEYTON HEWITT: That was me at the net though. So that's a bit different.

Q. It looked like, "This guy's been on the court way too many hours."

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's 50-50, he guessed the right way.

Q. How do you see the matchup in the finals?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Got no idea. You know, we'll let them work that out on Sunday.

Q. Next stop? Next stops?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not sure yet. We'll wait and see. Probably Monte-Carlo though.

Q. What's on your mind clay-wise for Europe?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. Still up in the air. So it's still up in the air. At this stage probably Monte-Carlo's a chance. Apart from that, I really don't know.

Q. Do you want to play a lot of clay or very little?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not heaps, but I definitely don't want to play too little either going in. I have to sort of try to find a happy medium there. Last year I played Rome, Hamburg, Dusseldorf. I felt pretty good, maybe I got a little bit tired towards the end of the French. So I will definitely be taking the week off before the French. That's different preparation than I've had going into the French before, so we'll see how that turns out.

End of FastScripts….

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