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September 3, 2006

Lleyton Hewitt

THE MODERATOR: First question.

Q. The wrap obviously was good for the knee. Had a great result out there.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, sort of just staying the same at the moment, not getting any worse. It's hard to see it getting to a hundred percent at the moment. If I keep going, then hopefully it will.
Yeah, today was a lot better. I knew I had to step it up another notch. Never played against him before. You know, the first six or seven games, I was more trying to feel out what his strengths and weaknesses are a little bit out there.
You know, I felt like I executed what I wanted to do out there today pretty well.

Q. Seemed to break his spirit. He went away in the second.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was strange. Felt early on he was serving extremely well, I couldn't really get into his service games. Halfway through the first set, I started getting onto his serve, just ran down a lot of balls, made him go for shots that I don't think he really felt comfortable going for.
I snuck into the net when I needed to. I moved the ball around well. That was sort of the game plan out there. It paid off perfectly today.

Q. In order to keep going, now with the rain, it's going to be almost a daily thing to play, how do you physically think that's going to be?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I'll have to wait and see. Obviously, I would have liked to got the match in yesterday just to keep on that routine of a day on, day off. Knowing that I'm going to have to play tomorrow now, it's a matter of trying to do everything in order to bounce back as well as possible.
This is exactly what I could have hoped for. Hour and a half match, to get through against a guy that can play that well, that gives me a lot of confidence going into a similar kind of match up against Gasquet.

Q. Djokovic, you take satisfaction from beating a good young player as him?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't think he was at his best today, for the results he's had. I think he made the quarters of the French and maybe Round of 16 at Wimbledon. He beat a lot of good players at Wimbledon, as well, to get to the Round of 16. I know he beat Robredo and Youzhny, probably should have beaten Ancic. I was very wary of the kind of player he is. Did my homework as well as possible without actually ever hitting against him to know what to expect out there.
It was still a little bit of suck it and see the first seven or six games. It was a good win for me. First up against a guy like that, as well. It's not an easy third round, I don't think.

Q. Were you in the locker room when Andre came in?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I haven't seen him, no. Saw a little bit of the start of the match on TV. Haven't seen anything since.

Q. How did you find out about the result? Did you hear anything from Ashe coming over?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I didn't know until I came back in the locker room. Yeah, obviously from what I saw before I went on, his movement wasn't nearly a hundred percent today. It was always going to be a tough order against anyone. I know the guy's a qualifier, but there's a reason he's in the third and now fourth round of a Grand Slam.

Q. You could give us a pretty accurate read maybe how gutsy he's been. Can you give us a player's view of what it's taken him to play?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I can't probably exactly. Only Andre really knows how he is feeling. From all reports, it wasn't too flash.
Yeah, that's been a little bit the case throughout the last year and a half, though. He's been always trying to get ready and ready. You just never know if he was ever going to be a hundred percent in any one of these matches.
It was a remarkable win what he did against Baghdatis, one of the better players going around the world at the moment. In the top 10 and deserves to be in the top 10.
It's probably a little bit of a shame that he didn't end up maybe losing a close match to Baghdatis in that atmosphere that was there that evening.

Q. How do you see your draw now with Agassi gone?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, at the moment I'm worrying about Gasquet. I think he's two sets to love up or something. He made the final of Toronto Masters Series only a few weeks ago. He can play. We've never played against each other before. That's going to be a challenge in itself.

Q. Do you know much about him? He's another one of these young up and comers. You played one today. Do you know these blokes very well?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I know a bit more about Gasquet. I've hit with him quite a few times. I know a little bit more about his game, what to expect. Djokovic today I didn't know a whole heap about. It was more Roger doing as much homework as possible to at least give me an insight so I wasn't going to be absolutely shocked when I went out there.
Yeah, it's fortunate in five set matches you can sort of get a feeling for things within the first set at least. Ideally I think I'm going to know what to expect tomorrow against Richard, though.

Q. In terms of the knee, when you move, is it a case of restricting your movement or just when you maybe put weight on it or certain times where the pain shoots in?
LLEYTON HEWITT: There's certain times when I just get the pain and that feeling that I've had the last couple of weeks. Obviously that's always in the back of your mind when you're moving out there. It's a matter of trying to, as I said before, that mental battle of trying to push through that pain. If it gets to a stage where you can't compete, you can't compete. Sort of trying to lay everything on the line at the moment.

Q. Are you surprised, happily surprised? Thought you would get this far in terms of the injury?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's more so playing with pain and trying to limit it as much as possible over the two weeks. When I had the injury, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to walk on the court, let alone compete. I'm obviously happy with the way I can compete out there at the moment. It's been good that I've been able to get through my matches in straight sets as well and not put too much strain on it unnecessary strain anyway.

Q. Are you going to be playing Davis Cup next week?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know, Mate.

Q. You feel as though you have your teeth in the tournament, second week?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you can't win it in the first week. That's sort of been the challenge right from the start with the knee injury. That was trying to get through the first couple of matches and feel okay after it, I guess. I've done that so far. It's going to get tougher and tougher with every match. We all know that at Grand Slams.
So far so good. I've put myself in a position to have another crack in the second week of the US Open, which it's always nice.

Q. What is it about Flushing Meadows? Is it the court, speed of the balls?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. Obviously, the court, I love the courts here. I've always been a fan of 'em. I think they suit my game well. I've played a lot of matches on all three of the show courts over the years. I think they're all unique in their own way. They're all a good feeling out there. Like today felt, you know, very close to the crowd, good atmosphere out there, even though it wasn't totally full either.

Q. That's going to be an advantage for you against Gasquet, the fact you feel so comfortable on these courts?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I don't know. He's obviously feeling pretty comfortable on hard courts at the moment, making the final of Toronto and pushing Federer in that match. Yeah, I feel as comfortable as anyone, I think, on this kind of court.
Yeah, it's still a matter that's not going to get me over the line. It's a matter of going out there and putting it all on the line again and hopefully executing the way I want to.

Q. Nalbandian says Australia has no chance in the tie.
LLEYTON HEWITT: He would know (smiling).

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