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October 19, 2001

Lleyton Hewitt

MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.

Q. You said earlier this week that if you lost early this week, it wouldn't be so much of a problem. Does this state of mind make you a bit more relaxed?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Doesn't feel relaxed out there (smiling). You know, I've had to fight off three bloody tough matches out there. I've had to come back from a set down in all three matches. Who knows mentally whether it helps or not. You know, I feel like I'm getting better and better with each match I'm playing, that's for sure. This is the first indoor tournament I've played, as well.

Q. As you're getting closer to an eventual win, does it make you more eager to win it than you were?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. It's still the same position. You know, if I go out there and lose tomorrow, it's not the end of the world, that's for sure. You know, I'm going out there to, you know, enjoy the way I'm playing, work on areas of my game that's going to help me in November.

Q. Do you care if you take over the lead in the Champions Race?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not really. It's in the back of my mind. As I said, I came here to prepare myself, to give myself the best opportunity of doing well in the Masters and the Davis Cup. That hasn't changed at all.

Q. How are you feeling physically?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not bad. You know, a little bit tired. I mean, anyone would be. I've had to do a lot of grinding out there the last three days. I've played players who don't tend to have long points out there, as well. Yesterday took a bit out of me. Today's probably taken a bit out of me, as well. See how I pull up tomorrow morning.

Q. Can we leap forward and talk about the Davis Cup. Was it a team decision to go with grass at Melbourne Park?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, pretty much. I think it's a better choice for the team, that's for sure. We probably had a few options up our sleeve. Rebound Ace, I play extremely well on. Pat made the semis of the Australian Open. We could even put in an American hard court at Melbourne Park, as well. We had some options up our sleeve. In the end, we went with what we felt was going to give us a bigger edge.

Q. And the fact that you won a couple of grass court titles, three actually.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Three over the last couple years.

Q. That obviously helped you feel confident with that decision.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. You've got to try to forget about yourself a little bit when you're having the meeting, as well. We have a guy who has made the final two years in a row at Wimbledon, the biggest grass court event in the world. I think everyone agrees that he could have won it both years. I'd like to have him on my side, that's for sure.

Q. The fact that the French did very well on Rebound Ace, was that a factor?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, it was in the back of my mind, our mind. Their results on Rebound Ace have been a lot better than their results on grass as a team. I think you've just got to sum it all up where we thought we were going to get the most advantage. Who knows if that's going to be right or not. Only the three days will tell. Before that, I think grass was the right choice.

Q. Are you expecting the crowd to be in Melbourne the local equivalent of what you faced in Barcelona and Nice?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not even close.

Q. Which way?

LLEYTON HEWITT: They're going to be -- they're a fair crowd. All Australian crowds, if you were in Sydney, you would have seen. The crowd in Sydney was great. They clapped the good shots for Sweden. They're obviously loud for us, but that's the way it should be.

Q. Can you see a difference in that crowd than the crowd we see at The Open?

LLEYTON HEWITT: The Australian Open?

Q. Yes.


Q. For the Davis Cup.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. They're probably going to be more loud for Australia. You come to watch two players play at the Australian Open. It's more of an individual event. This is playing for your country. There's a lot more feeling, I think, for the fans to come and show their support and their side more in the Davis Cup than in a Grand Slam.

End of FastScripts....

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