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July 3, 2007
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Have you ever been involved in a situation where you had to wait so long to play and finish your match?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No. That's the longest and toughest rain-delayed match I've ever had to put up with. Yeah, obviously it's so strange for everyone getting ready to play Saturday, late Saturday, and then having a day off on Sunday. So that was strange for starters.
But then to go on and off so many times, yeah, it was a mental battle more than anything out there. Yeah, you just couldn't get down on yourself at all or get worried with the situation because it was the same for everyone.
You know, I felt like I handled it exceptionally well.
Q. Did you count how many times you went on and off?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. I think maybe six. We got ready a lot more times than that, I'll tell you.
Q. Have you looked ahead how it might work out for the rest of the week if the weather improves?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of matches if you keep winning, back to back basically. Yeah, pretty much after we didn't get on Saturday, there was going to be no play on Sunday, that was going to be the case for our side of the draw anyway. Having to get through third-round matches, and yesterday backed it up even more.
Just got to be prepared to do it. This is how you win majors. It's not getting frustrated with the situation. Whatever hand you're dealt, you got to deal with it, you know, keep positive.
Q. Where does this rank in your many, many matches against Argentines in the past? How satisfying is this one?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, it's really satisfying. I'm really relieved more so from the fact that I was able to handle the situation. He's a tough competitor on any surface. If you're not ready to go out there to play against him, you're slightly off after one rain delay, he'll take full advantage of that.
I felt like mentally it was taking a lot out of me the last couple of days. I felt like I handled it really well.
Q. If you were ever in a situation like Nadal is currently in where he hasn't finished his third-round match, if the weather wouldn't clear, would you ever consider finishing a match and starting another one in the same day?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I wouldn't, not at a Grand Slam. Grand Slam matches, say they don't get through today, they got to come back tomorrow and finish it. There's a lot of nervous energy wasted, as well, going into a match, just to go out there and stay in the tournament.
Personally, I would prefer to finish every match in a Grand Slam, yeah, in a single day.
Q. Were you surprised you were second on court today rather than first?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not really, no. I thought it was probably the right thing to do. When I went off last night, I thought -- I was assuming that was probably going to be the case.
We were sitting in the locker room all day yesterday. As I said, we got ready, put our shoes on, warmed up maybe 10, 15 times yesterday.
Yeah, I think from that point, they sort of said we were held yesterday and so long-last night till they called it off, that they basically said, We'll give you a little bit more rest time, I guess, and at least a little bit more preparation.
Q. When you're facing a breakpoint when the rain comes, how do you deal with that situation? In the locker room, if you stay keyed up you can almost fry yourself.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's a tough one. In that situation, I was unlucky that both times -- after two of the rain delays I was up a break but down breakpoint.
Ended up going out there and losing my serve both times. Obviously didn't do the right thing in the locker room.
Q. Seriously, it would be hard.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's hard. Yeah, it is, because it's playing on your mind, where you going to serve that first ball. If you make a first serve, it makes a huge difference compared to a second serve. You want to be ready to go and well warmed up when you have to go on, as well. Because if you're not, a guy like Cañas that doesn't miss a whole heap of returns out there, he's going to take full advantage of it.
So that was another part of the match that I was happy with myself because I was able to -- I lost those games. Both times I went back out in that situation and I broke him straight back on both accounts. That probably was the telling part in the match, getting out of that third set somehow.
Q. When you've had so many stops and starts, how important is it to have a warmup? Is it essential to have that five minutes?
LLEYTON HEWITT: After a certain amount of time, it definitely is. It's more so, especially serving, especially breakpoint down in that situation. I think it's pretty important.
Q. Does this stop and start really bring out the best in you? What do you think?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Every time's different probably. You've got to be very mentally tough and very patient, yeah, not get overawed with the situation or frustrated at it more than anything.
If you get frustrated for a minute, then you'll lose the match.
Q. Are you satisfied with yourself with your game so far?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm happy. I'm relieved to get through this one today. Who knows what the weather's going to do for the rest of the day. I'm pretty happy to get through.
He's a tough competitor, as I said, as well. I've had to go up a notch every match. I've been able to do that.
Q. How do you rate your title chances?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, obviously Roger's the favorite, but he's in the other side of the draw to me. I'll worry about Djokovic, Kiefer, whoever comes through that one. I'm going to have my hands full with either one of those.
Djokovic is having a stellar year so far, so he's going to be extremely tough. But if Kiefer knocks him off, then he's obviously playing pretty well, as well.
Both guys got big serves and return well and move well. It's going to be a tough match-up.
Q. You know what it takes to go all the way here. Do you get any of those feelings?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not yet. Normally you'd be through to a quarterfinal normally in this situation on this day. Through the fourth round, in the second week, I've got a chance.
Q. What were you actually doing in these off periods? Were you sitting around watching a DVD or reading a book?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I was sitting in the locker room. Not a lot. Watching the covers come on and off. Lying on the massage table, trying to put my feet up a little bit. That was pretty much it. Same as everyone else in there.
Q. You don't try to take your thoughts away from it?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I want to try to stay in it as much as possible until you get canceled for the night. You want to try and stay in that match frame.
Especially with the weather, the way it's been, you can go on and off a number of times off there, numerous times out there. Yeah, you want to stay as mentally sharp as possible every time you're about to go on.
Then again, you can be a couple of hours, as well. It's not easy.
Q. What about practice? Outdoors or inside?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, the last two days before my matches I've been fortunate enough to warm up, like most guys, on the grass at Aorangi, which has been good.
Since the tournament started, we haven't been able to get a lot of hours on the grass. After my second-round match I think I had to hit indoors for two or three days in a row basically. That's basically just to keep my eye in. Indoor courts are totally different to anything on grass movement wise and the pace sort of coming through, as well.
So that's basically to stroke a few balls and keep your eye in.
Q. Your family has been a big part of your career. Your parents aren't here. How much contact have you had with them back in Australia?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I talk to my parents every day.
Q. Are they still offering you any advice?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, mainly support and encouragement. Not so much tennis advice. I got enough good coaches around here at the moment to worry about tennis on-court stuff.
Q. Are you primarily working with Darren Cahill still?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I haven't seen Darren a lot during these two weeks. He's doing commentary here. It's been more John Fitzgerald. He's our Davis Cup captain. It's been good having him along, as well.
Darren comes out when possible. He came out to the end of the match out there today. But, yeah, it's a mixture, which is good.
Q. If you made it through to another final, say you met Roger, do you feel you're in the sort of form you could trouble Roger?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's a long way before Roger, that I've got to worry about Roger. Everything is sort of falling right for him yet again at the moment.
He played, from what I saw, a pretty good match against Safin. He's a dangerous opponent. Then he got a fortunate walkover against another dangerous opponent in Haas on grass.
Yeah, he's probably not complaining about too many things right at the moment.
Q. You're quite happy with the way you're playing?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm going all right at the moment.
End of FastScripts