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June 30, 2006

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton Hewitt.

Q. Your thoughts on surviving that one?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, that's all it really was, survival sort of out there. You know, it was a strange sort of match yesterday. Sort of continued on the start in today's match as well. I felt like I had so many breakpoints out there and just wasn't able to take it. You know, I was a little bit lucky to get out of the third set yesterday. But then, you know, I had so many breakpoints, felt like I was the better player throughout the whole fourth set, even served for the match. You know, then to come back today at two sets all, sort of it's a new ballgame again.
So, you know, I made it tough for myself, that's for sure.

Q. Is your mental preparation for sort of like a one-set sort of shoot-out, is that any different to the normal match?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think so. Obviously, there's a lot more on the line getting off to a good start. Yesterday when we went out the start of the match, you know, I came out aggressive and put pressure on him, had him 15-40, had a second serve, made a cheap error on that. He was able to hold. Then he came out, played a great game the next game and broke me. That was something that was in the back of my mind today when I went out there, I didn't want the same thing to sort of happen.
The second game out there today, I had Love-40 and wasn't able to take my chances. You know, thank God I got that first match point.

Q. Did you sleep easy last night knowing it was in the balance?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not too bad. Obviously, a little bit frustrated that I didn't close it out last night. You know, I didn't feel like I played great yesterday. But he's a hell of a shot-maker. You know, he comes up with great shots. He's a great mover around the court. He doesn't take too many steps backwards. He served well, especially on big points yesterday. Didn't give me too many second serves.
So, you know, you're sort of in two minds last night. You know, slightly disappointed, but then still knowing that, you know, you still got a chance to go out there and get her all right at 1:00 today. I was ready to go as soon as I went out there.

Q. Usually you come here, weather permitting, you have your day on, day off, obviously you would have a routine you'd use. How difficult is it this year when it's all crunched up at the end of the week and you're spending a lot of time waiting to get on court?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's been totally different this year. Yeah, I guess the night before you have to play the match the next day, you focus, you massage, you're eating, everything is sort of based around your time of play the next day. Sort of all started when I was scheduled to play, but didn't know a time or a court that I was going to play on. You have to prepare as though you're going to play that day. But didn't end up coming. So basically it feels like I've been having to prepare for every day, you know, and it's going to be the same tomorrow.
At least I'm getting used to it. You know, hopefully, weather permitting, if I can get through tomorrow, I can get a day off.

Q. What can you tell us about the little guy Olivier Rochus you're going to face in the next round?
LLEYTON HEWITT: He's one of the most talented guys out there. Obviously, he's not the biggest and strongest, but he takes it to you out there. He's a shot-maker, as well. He doesn't have the biggest serve out there. But from the back of the court, he's very capable. He volleys well, as well. Obviously, his movement's a big part of his game, as well, being that small. But he's a tough player to play against.

Q. Are you aware he had four match points against Federer in Halle a couple days ago?

Q. I guess that says it all?
LLEYTON HEWITT: That's the kind of results that he's capable of, for sure. Then he got killed last week against López, so try and work that out.

Q. Has it made a difference this year having your family in tow?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, not once I get to the courts. It's a matter of me trying to concentrate on what I've got to do.

Q. Are you in the same lodgings as your daughter? Is she keeping you up or anything?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, she's fine.

Q. A bit more relaxing away from the courts to have the family there with you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it is, I think. Yeah, it's not so much about tennis. You sort of forget about the tournament a lot of the time. Yeah, it's amazing how quick, you know, a few hours can go, though, when you're playing with your child, so.

Q. Do you find you're less likely to stew on a bad set or missed opportunity because you go back and play with your daughter?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. I'm not really sure. You know, I guess I think any sportsman is disappointed though, you know, after they haven't done something right out there on the match or whatever. Yeah, sure, when you get home, it's all in perspective in a lot of ways.
Yeah, every person, top athlete, they're competitive and want to win and want to get the best out of themselves every time they step on the court. If that doesn't happen, you know, you're always going to be a little bit disappointed for a little while.

Q. Sort of mellows you out, the fact you have your family there, just a relaxing sort of way --
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's relaxing when I get off the court, you know. When I come to the courts, whether it's practice at Aorangi or playing at match courts, it's business as usual.

Q. Roger said the other day that he still considers you one of the biggest threats. Do you ignore that or do you take that as a compliment or what?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I guess you take it as a small compliment. It's a long way to go, you know, to Sunday week. Right at the moment I don't have to worry about Roger. If it comes to that, you know, it won't be an easy match-up, that's for sure. But I've got a lot of hurdles before I get to him.

Q. When you play against a guy like Rochus, who you say is a shot-maker, do you make a conscious choice to play a bit more conservative, keep the ball in and wait for the error, or just the way the point develops?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's a tough one because, yeah, at the back of your mind you're thinking that it's got to go off a little bit. Guys that are great shot-makers do make some more errors, as well, when they're going for it.
But, yeah, you don't want to just go out there and try and rally and keep the ball in play, either, because that gives them their opportunity to play with a bit of flair out there, you know, attack those half short balls, as well. That's where I could have probably taken it to Lee a bit better I think yesterday. Today I felt like I did it better in the one set that we played today than the one yesterday.

Q. What were your emotions at the end? You seemed a little bit more fired up than usual?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Than usual (smiling)? Yeah, sometimes I just get fired up. Depends on the spur of the moment.

Q. Relief?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, yeah, it was obviously a tough situation, coming out and playing one set to stay in Wimbledon. You know, I don't think it was easy for either of us. But that's what you got to keep in your mind, as well, that you're both in the same situation.

Q. How much of a boost of confidence was it to win a tournament again, especially on grass?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It was good. It was good. I love playing at Queen's. It's always nice to play well. I have some more success at a place that you've done well at in the past. I really enjoy this month in London. Yeah, it was a good one to get under my belt.

End of FastScripts...

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