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March 27, 2001

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: First question for Lleyton, please.

Q. Good comeback after dropping that first set. You played pretty well in the three games after that.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was a weird match. I didn't really feel in it at the start and it was tough conditions, though. You know, it was, you know, pretty swirly out there. It's not as covered as this court so it's sort of coming in from the side. But, you know, I felt like I got better and better. I had a strategy and I didn't really play to that in the first set. Then in the second set I sort of put the foot down and started going after his forehand, coming to the net more. I served well and overall I got better as the match went on.

Q. What confuses you about this stuff?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's just a weird style of playing. You're not playing against it every day basically. You know, I think that's why a lot of the players have trouble with it, because it's just so different, so unique. You know, very rarely, you know, would I practice with Fabrice. I don't get a look at playing against him that often, and, you know, it takes a little bit of time I think to get a feeling to the match. You feel like you have so many chances and so many easy shots where you should put it away and, you know, he's so quick around the court as well. He makes up for it in a lot of ways.

Q. I guess it was good that you played him eight weeks ago or ten weeks ago in Sydney?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, for sure. I lost to him in Cincinnati last year in the first round. I played very well against him the second part of the first -- the second half of the first set, then the whole second set in Sydney, played really good tennis. That's when I really started to pick it up, I felt, for the Australian summer. Today I felt like I picked it up from the second set onwards.

Q. What do you know about Roddick?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not a whole heap. You know, I've watched little bits of his matches, saw him play a little bit last year here as well, did pretty well. He's got a big game. He's definitely going to be a great player, there's no doubt about that. You know, I'm going to have to play, you know, as well as I can play, I think, to win.

Q. How curious were you to see just how Andy would come out after the big win against Sampras?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, I thought he had a good chance against Pavel. I thought he matched up pretty well against him. You know, he looks like he's got his head on his shoulders and really, I didn't think it would be a big drama for him. I, you know, what I've heard and what I've seen, he's probably been under a fair bit of pressure and publicity for a fair time now because he's really been sort of the No. 1 American coming up. So, you know, obviously he's obviously done well to, you know, shut out everything and just get on with playing tennis.

Q. Were you in that situation ever? Do you recall being in a similar situation?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Winning a big match, then coming out the next day? Probably for me it was beating Agassi in the semis of Adelaide in my first tournament then having to come up and play a final of an ATP Tour event the next day. You know, I had to play Jason Stoltenberg who's not such a big name around the world but back in Australia he always plays well in Australia. So, you know, I think I've had to deal with that a couple of times but, you know, I think it's always hard, though. You don't want to get too carried away when you're in the middle of a tournament. It's nice to have the big win at the end of the week so you can celebrate.

Q. We know how pumped up you get during the match and emotional you get. But he seems to be -- there are times you can see he's taking on a bit of an air of cockiness out there. Do you think this is going to be an interesting matchup?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's definitely going to be interesting but just because, you know, we're both so young I think. You know, I'm sure this isn't going to be the only time we play each other either. I'm sure there's going to be probably bigger matches in Grand Slams down the track and in the next few years, that's for sure. But, you know, what I've seen, he does like to get pretty pumped up on the court. He looks like he's, you know, likes bouncing around and stuff like that and, you know, I got no problem with that.

Q. How are you bearing up with singles and doubles two long weeks, two tournaments back-to-back? Are you fine with it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not too bad. I didn't feel 100 percent going out there today, but, you know, I feel not bad. I think the body's holding up fine. I think it's good practice for Barcelona as well, just getting more and more matches both if we, you know, obviously on the singles side and plus, you know, the more matches Pat and I play in doubles, if we have to take that option of Pat and I playing in Brazil, the more matches we play, the better off we're going to be.

Q. Do you think you're going to play?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to say. As I've said the whole time, a lot depends on the first day. The key really is the first day. Depends how we're feeling, it depends, you know, what the situation is I suppose as well.

Q. Do you feel that something's starting to click into place with Pat in the doubles?

LLEYTON HEWITT: We're definitely getting better and better; there's no doubt about that. The last couple of matches against Stolle and Nestor in the second round here, it was great tennis by them and by us. You know, I really enjoyed being out there, just part of it. I'm still learning, you know, a whole heap about playing doubles as well. I haven't played for -- basically since winning the US last year, so it's taking me a few matches to, you know, get back into sort of remembering, you know, just little things about doubles which you sort of forget when you're just playing singles at the time.

Q. Do you feel it's a good combination, the contrast in styles between the two of you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think it works well. Pat can try and help me out on my serve as much as possible, and I can give him the chances, you know, for us to break as well. So at the moment, it looks like a pretty good team I think. You know, obviously we haven't played, you know, too many big matches yet, though. That's probably the key.

Q. Do you think you'll play doubles in the Grand Slams or do you think you'll just take it easy and just play singles there?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know. I wouldn't make that decision until sort of the week before, just see how I'm feeling. You know, especially with the French, I think, just because, you know, it's so, you know, clay court season is such a grinding season. To be out there going, I have to be feeling pretty fresh if I was going to play singles and doubles in the French.

End of FastScripts....

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