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January 20, 2007

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was that a case of him just making too quick a start, you giving up too much of a start to him?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. It's always going to be hard to come back against a guy like that when they get their nose in front, swinging like that out there.
But, you know, I was nearly able to turn it around. A couple points in the fourth set, I could have nearly got back on even terms. But it's always going to be a tough ask coming back from giving him such a big start. He was obviously very confident. His serve got better as the match went on. He served great except that one service game where he lost serve in the end of the third set.
It was a bit of an uphill battle on all those. On my service games he was flashy, slashing away. I was able to dig deep in the third set and come up with something. Then in the fourth set, you know, I had a breakpoint early to go 2-Love up. If I could have got that, it could have been a different story.

Q. He was red hot in those first two sets.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he hit a lot of winners. Didn't make too many unforced errors. Yeah, doesn't matter who he's playing against, he's dictating play if he's playing like that. It's a matter of trying to weather the storm as much as possible. If he's hitting winners, there's not a whole heap you can do about it. It's a matter of hanging in there and buying time, trying to find a way to get out of it or change it around.
I was able to do that with some gutsy play in the third set. Holding my service games gave me that opportunity, but wasn't quite able to do it.

Q. Is it a case of waiting for him to go off his form, or do you have to contribute that for the turnaround to occur? Because I think it was two unforced errors he had in the first two sets.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, a bit of both. If he's playing that well, that's too good for those two sets. But it's a matter of me trying to mix up things, try and make life as uncomfortable for him as possible. In the third and fourth sets I felt like I was able to do that.
The fourth set could have gone either way there. We had a lot of deuce games. Just wasn't able to get those big points when it counted. If I got into a fifth set, then I would have liked my chances.

Q. What were your thoughts in the final game of the third set when he threw a couple of double-faults in? Must have had a bit of confidence at that stage.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well up till then he'd served extremely well, apart from his first service game of the match. He served well. Didn't miss too many first serves. He was hitting lines left, right, and center. It was hard for me to get into any of his service games, you know, obviously after that, but then he went back in the fourth set to serving well again.
Yeah, it would have been nice to get one of those cheap service games of his and get a break early in the fourth set, but it wasn't to be.

Q. How do you like his chances for the rest of the tournament?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, against Blake's a different match-up. Both very flashy. Both play very similar games. He's a great ball-striker. A lot depends on whether he can play like that every match, though. You got to do it seven times in a Grand Slam.
Yeah, he's always been a great ball-striker. That's never been his biggest problem, I don't think.

Q. How do you review this tournament? You'll say you entered it to win it. But realistically with the disrupted lead-up, how do you look back on it now?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You're disappointed when you lose. I'll look back, and I'm sure there's some positives to come out of tonight's match. It's disappointing I lost. But put everything on the line again, went out there, was nearly able to turn it around again.
Obviously not having the best preparation, the most matches that I would have liked coming in, yeah, makes life tough.

Q. When will you sit down with Scott to discuss the further arrangement between the two of you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not sure yet. That's the last thing on my mind at the moment.

Q. How pivotal has he been for you during this tournament?
LLEYTON HEWITT: He's been great. He's a great mate. He's got a lot of different ideas, which is good. You know, he was one of the most talented tennis players that I've ever come across in my time.
Yeah, he had every shot under the world, and, you know, was able to obviously get to his ranking. But he's had a lot of disappointments in his life, as well, on and off the court.
He's got a great attitude. He's a positive guy. He looks at different situations I think to a lot of other people. It's been good for the last couple weeks, that's for sure.

Q. In which way has he been most important to you? Has it been helping you mentally, inspiring you, or actually helping with your game?
LLEYTON HEWITT: All over, I think. He's got a good tennis brain. But away from the court, as well. He was my first ever person I beat on tour back when I was 16. We spent a lot of time together. He knows my game inside out over the years through Davis Cups and traveling together. Yeah, he knows what my strengths are and what my weaknesses are as well.
Just another view, you know, a different view, an outsider's view. You know, it's a good thing.

Q. How are you feeling physically after this tournament?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not too bad. The calf's a little bit sore. But considering how much tennis I played, not too bad.

Q. Will you take some time off now?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I'm not sure yet.

Q. Are you confident about what you can achieve for the rest of the year now?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you know, want to get some more tournaments under my belt, a lot more matches, get back in the rhythm of things. That's been the toughest thing, especially with the knee injury late last year.
Couldn't get back-to-back matches together, which is a tough thing. It's not easy going into the Grand Slams, you know, against the best guys in the world when you're under-done.
Hopefully I can get a few wins in the smaller tournaments, just get a lot of matches under my belt.

Q. The challenge you made in the last game, obviously went your way. Was it tough to get your composure back after that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, not really. The crowd was obviously into it the last few games of the third set and the fourth set. Obviously when that was an overrule, then obviously the crowd was pretty excited, as well. Sort of a matter of just focusing and trying to get back on with it.

Q. What are your thoughts about the Hawk-Eye system now?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, not sure. Not sure. I just think sometimes the ball marks are slightly different to what the thing shows. Andy Roddick's serve or a Joachim Johansson's serve, the mark is about this long, whereas on the screen it doesn't come up that long.
And we can - even on a Rebound Ace surface or hard court surface you can still see the ball mark that has been left. So I've still got a few question marks.

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