home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 16, 2001

Lleyton Hewitt

MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.

Q. 3-Love to 3-All, sort of a wake-up call?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was strange. Yeah, he was getting to be more and more dangerous on the return of serve rather than the service games of his own. He started off serving pretty well. Then his percentage I think went down a fair bit. I was starting to look at a lot of second serves. 3-Love, I was telling myself, "This isn't over. He's going to come out." He's the kind of guy, gets in a bit of rhythm, it's hard for me to find rhythm because he hits the ball so hard and flat. Came out that next game. Didn't make too many first serves. Gave him that opportunity to get on top of me.

Q. Is the pace of this court good for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. It's bloody slow.

Q. That's what I mean. Not as slow as last week.


Q. Terribly slow last week.

LLEYTON HEWITT: These balls, somebody's got to do something about the balls. Doesn't help it at all. Places like here, I don't know what Paris is going to be like, those balls are so fluffy and heavy out there after one and a half, two games. When you get to the seventh, eighth, and ninth game before the ball change, it's pretty hard to hit too many winners.

Q. Kafelnikov last week was saying the balls could be a long-term danger as far as injuries.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I remember this time last year, same problem. Goran, myself, Marat, were sitting with our forearms getting rubbed before our matches every day. Something someone has to look at. We keep saying it. Nothing happens.

Q. You've had such a great spell of wins. Does it make you feel like a different player when you're out there, having not tasted defeat for long? Must be good for the self-confidence. Even when you're in the situation you're in today, you feel as though you're going to get out of it.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I feel that's the biggest thing. I've got that winning feeling at the moment. You know, doesn't really matter what situation I'm in, I don't press the panic button, I don't think. That just comes with experience. You know, that self-belief, inner self-belief out there as well. I believe I'm able to get out of those kind of matches. I'm not hitting the ball well out there tonight. That probably makes me more happy that I'm able to fight my way out of it, get a win out of it.

Q. Has the win at the US Open changed your perspective on how things are? Are you a calmer person as a result or still as pumped up when you go on court as you always were?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. It's hard at the moment. It's very hard. It's been an extremely long year. My main focus for the rest of the year is the Masters and the Davis Cup final. There's no doubt, the Davis Cup final is the big one for me. The way that I'm looking at the next three, four weeks before the Masters, then the Davis Cup, I want to be peaking for those two events. If I have a couple of early losses here, I don't really care too much because at the end of the day, I've had a great year. I've won a Slam. It's been an unbelievable feeling, an unbelievable few weeks for me. I just think that, you know, the Davis Cup would top it off as a really great year.

Q. Was there a temptation not even to come to Europe? Pat has made no secret of the fact this time of the year, this part of the world doesn't exactly please him. Was there ever a thought to hold it back for Sydney and Melbourne?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Went through my mind (smiling), especially the way things are going, as well. You know, Australia is a long ways away. I don't reckon those guys have heard of Kangaroo Island and those places (laughter). Yeah, it went through my mind. I feel like, you know, I still wanted to finish the year off well. I think not going into the Masters and Davis Cup final with no preparation, for me, it's not being very professional I don't think for me. I wouldn't be hitting the ball as well as I should be I don't think going into it. That's why at the end of the day, I spoke to Fitzy, spoke to Wally straight after the Davis Cup. I was knackered after the Davis Cup. Media commitments back in Australia, straight off The Open, then having to go to the Davis Cup so soon and practice. It takes a lot out of you. Even though it's three days of tennis, the whole practice and thinking about playing for your country takes a lot out of you. To go to Tokyo, I struggled through that. Didn't play good, but still got the wins on the board. To come here, by the time I got to Europe on the Monday night, I only had a few days before I had to start practicing and playing here. It would have been nice to take a few weeks off. It's not the case at the moment.

Q. Putting the ball on the other foot, do you worry a bit about Pat?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not really. I think I've seen Pat only the last few years, but I've heard that he doesn't enjoy these tournaments too much. I think for Pat to play his best tennis, obviously there's no secret that the Davis Cup is the big one for him. We all want to win it for him, as well, because we think he's done so much for Australian tennis. I just think that deep down he knows what's best for himself going in. If he thinks three matches at a minimum in the Masters is going to be enough preparation, then that's fine with me. I think it's more mental going in. I think that's what Pat is thinking about. He doesn't want to get drained out, going nuts here in Europe, go home and have to play the Masters before the Davis Cup final. I think it's a good move for Pat.

Q. You'll have to tell him it was a sunny day today.

LLEYTON HEWITT: He won't believe it. He's sitting back in New South. Pretty nice.

Q. Could you chill out here more than you could at home? The pressure is more on you in Australia. You can relax even a bit more here.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit.

Q. Is that possible?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It is possible. But still if I was at home, I'd be putting the feet up. If I'm over here, I've got to play. That's the way I see it. I'm not going to come here, everyone knows, hey, I go out there and I'm not going to give in a point. I'm not just going to come here and roll over. That's not what it's about either. You know, I come here. It's very hard the whole day, whole weeks leading in, you're thinking about performing your best at these tournaments. Even though there's probably not as much pressure on me this week to try to make the Masters as it was last year, where I had to come here and make the semis or final to get in, you still want to go out there and give your best.

Q. You were very much a public figure at home long before the US Open this year. How much more has that intensified? Can you go out with your mates and be private or is it impossible?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's pretty hard. At least I got to go and meet the Prime Minister and go through the Grand Final before the AFL Grand Final, got a parade around the oval. It's tough, though. Obviously in my hometown of Adelaide the last few years it's been extremely tough as well. Since I came on the scene, it's a much smaller place than -- smaller than Sydney or Melbourne. The Davis Cup, had to go to Sydney. At the moment tennis is huge in Australia. That's because of the Davis Cup and the success Pat has had at Wimbledon, then me at the US Open. It is tough to go places now and be very private, I suppose.

Q. Has there been one aspect of recognition that surprised you more than any other, any odd thing that's happened that really brought it home to you, what an impact your win had?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. There's been so much support from back home, it's incredible. My whole career I've known that the Australian public is behind me. You can just tell. The ovations that I got when I went around the ground at the MCG in front of 100,000. I love football. I'd never been to a Grand Final. For me to be sitting in a car going around the game ten minutes before it started, the whole place was a buzz. A great feeling, great honor to be out there for me.

Q. Has the icy relationship with the media mellowed somewhat at all as well - the Aussie media?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know. Haven't had too many bad things written I don't think in the last few weeks. It's hard when you keep winning (laughter). It's been fine. As I said, I haven't had too much bad about me. Yeah, not much I can do about it either.

Q. Can you explain the decision of playing Hopman Cup versus Adelaide?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Haven't really even decided a hundred percent yet.

Q. Going to announce it tomorrow.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I've got to still talk to Darren and stuff. It's not a hundred percent yet.

Q. How does that weigh against your preparation? How do you put it all together?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's all got to do with the Australian Open. There's only one Grand Slam in Australia, that's the Australian Open, that's in Melbourne. That's the last two weeks of January. My preparation for the first two weeks of January is going to be whatever is best for me stepping on that court at Melbourne Park. There's no two ways about it. It's the biggest tournament in Australia. The last couple of years, I haven't done as well as I've done, especially at the US Open, even the French and Wimbledon. I've just got to look at it the way I've prepared for other tournaments and what's going to be the best for me. Who knows, even if I do something different, it may not work. I've just got to sit down and I've got to think what's going to be best for me.

Q. What are the principal options?

LLEYTON HEWITT: There's a handful. Hopman Cup, Adelaide, week off, then Sydney. You have Hopman Cup and Sydney. Kooyong. There's another exhibition in Melbourne the week before, as well as Kooyong. Octagon has put it on.

Q. Where?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure of the place. There is another exhibition. There's a number of options that I've got up my sleeve. That's a good thing. I don't really have to rush into making any rash decisions. As I said, everything this year is going to be for my preparation for the Australian Open. The other years going in has been: i need the points. That's why I've played the two tournaments back to back. Whether I've been fatigued because -- obviously I've played pretty well in Australia in the past. Who knows.

Q. After the Davis Cup, is the Australian Open now your No. 1 priority?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's up there, no doubt. I've been going to Melbourne Park ever since it opened as a little kid walking around there. I get a huge buzz from walking around Melbourne Park, getting on that centre court. It's going to be a good feeling going there winning the last Slam the year before. There's probably going to be more pressure, more expectation as well. I'm just going to go out there, enjoy myself. In the past I've played some big matches, played pretty well in Melbourne and the Australian Open. Hopefully I can put it together for four, five, six, maybe seven matches there next year.

Q. Talking about the Davis Cup final, I'm assuming you and Pat have had input on the fact that it's going to be grass.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. We spoke about it the night after we won. It's nice to have a choice about a Davis Cup final. We spoke about it. We felt that grass was going to give us maybe a bigger advantage.

Q. Do you speak regularly to Fitzy? He's not here. Before the final, will you speak to him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a fair bit. I've spoken a couple of times since I've been away already. We get along really well. He wants to obviously know how we're feeling over here. There's not a lot to talk about really now.

Q. I suppose he felt it wasn't necessary to make the trip.

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not really. Especially Pat, I don't know if he plans on coming over in the next two weeks or not, but if he doesn't, he's staying home, as well. He can obviously monitor Pat's preparation as well there. It's hard to decide whether they should come over because we all have sort of private coaches, as well. They don't want to interfere in our individual tournaments, even though the Davis Cup is sort of the priority.


End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297