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March 25, 2001

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: First question for Lleyton, please.

Q. The Oscars began at exactly the same time as your match. Have you got any interest in any of the films that are up for --?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I didn't even know it was on until my manager told me a couple days ago. It was a bit of bad luck. I normally would have sat down and watched it, but...

Q. I thought you would be in a rush to watch.

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I don't think that's the reason I played well, but...

Q. Apart from that hiccup at 4-1 in the second set, you barely lost a point on your serve. Are you a lot happier now with the way you were serving?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I served fantastic. Actually, the doubles match yesterday against Sandon and Daniel Nestor helped me incredibly. We're out there, and we lost the first set. I really wasn't serving well. I lost my serve after we were a break up in the first set. Pat really helped me out on my service games. I just caught rhythm out there in the doubles. It really did help me. When I went to warm up before my match today, I was hitting my serve great. I took the positive thoughts that I had been serving well the last half of that doubles match and this morning in my practice with me out there tonight and that's the best I've served in a long time.

Q. Was it a lot different playing at night for you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's a lot heavier out there. You know, I spoke about the balls after my first-round match with the balls and just it's very humid out there as well. But it's just so heavy. I played a couple of night matches here last year, and I recalled from those previous matches that I have played it's always been very heavy here in the evening.

Q. Were you surprised by the level of support for your opponent tonight?

LLEYTON HEWITT: We're close to South America, I suppose. They probably don't get a lot of opportunities to see their players play, so, you know, I suppose a lot of South Americans live maybe in Miami as well. So...

Q. Do you think Lapentti's a better player than that tonight?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think -- I thought he played quite well tonight. You know, as I said, I played my best match I've played in a long time. You know, I really don't know where he could have, you know, done more damage out there, particularly on a hardcourt. You know, I think if it's on clay it's a different story maybe. But, you know, the last two meetings, the Davis Cup one on the grass, I came out and I got on top of him early. I wanted to try to continue that roll out there tonight.

Q. You're now the top seed in the bottom half of the draw. Does that give you encouragement?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. You know, I take it one match at a time. You know, I got Santoro next round, in the Round of 16s. It obviously will be great to make it through to the semis or the finals, but I'm going to have my hands full with Fabrice. We played a tough match in Sydney in the quarters this year. I got through that one. But if I play the way like I did tonight, I'm definitely in with a good chance.

Q. Have you ever considered establishing a base in this part of the world at all?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. You know, obviously I'm one of the few Australians who still resides in Australia. At the moment, I just love going home and catching up with the mates. I'm not that fussed at the moment about taxes or whatever. I love getting home and hopping on the Quantas plane, whatever, you feel like you're almost there. So we do that much flying in the Juniors that it hasn't really affected me flying home for a couple of weeks then going back to Europe or going back to America.

Q. When the European season starts, will you base yourself somewhere in Europe?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's, you know, hard to say. I haven't really planned my schedule at the moment either. I've got to sit down. A lot depends on how I feel after Brazil. I've played San Jose through to Miami here, four tough tournaments. I've done pretty well. I've been there to at least Friday, Saturday, in all the tournaments. Obviously Brazil is going to be not only physically tough, but mentally very draining down there as well. I'm just going to sit down and think about it, you know, after that Monday probably or the week after the Davis Cup in Brazil and see how I'm feeling mentally and physically and where I want to start my clay court season this year.

Q. So you've left your schedule open?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's very open. Yeah.

Q. Obviously the atmosphere tonight probably didn't compare to Spain but did it have a little bit of a Davis Cup feel?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, I really try to block it out as much as possible. It really didn't worry me. I just went out there and played my game. Got pumped up on the points I felt like I needed to get pumped up on. That's when I play my best tennis. Obviously it's nice playing in front of a, you know, fairly big crowd as well, you know, night match. I enjoy playing the big matches.

Q. There's a chance you and Andy Roddick could meet at some point later in the draw. He's been described as not having any fear. For somebody who's pretty close in age to him and also not having fear yourself, how much of that is inherent and how much do you develop as a player?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think a lot's just sort of born in you, I suppose. You know, that's how I played my footie when I was growing up as well and I just carried it over into my tennis as well. It really wasn't something I had to work on or a weakness at any point that I felt I had to get better. I think it's something that's just in you. You can't do much about it.

End of FastScripts....

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