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July 5, 2007

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton Hewitt.

Q. You must be disappointed not to have taken that match into a fifth set?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I felt like, you know, I fought so hard to get back in a position to, you know, give myself another crack at the it. Yeah, to his credit, though, he went for his shots a little bit more when I served for the fourth set.
Up till then he was starting to get a little tighter and missing some balls that he hadn't missed, especially in the first two and a half sets.
I had my opportunity, though, and couldn't quite take it.

Q. Do you think you could have done any more today?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I could have won.

Q. Other than that, were you happy with your performance?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, it was patchy. I still feel like I could have played better. Yeah, the score line shows. I lost three tiebreaks, won more games out there, broke serve more times.
Yeah, I just didn't have a lot of luck out there today. That happens.

Q. How big were those set points in the first set tiebreaker?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, if I could have closed that one out and been up a set it would have made life a lot easier, especially considering the first two sets I easily could have won.
I was 5-All, 15-40 in the first, and then 6-5, Love-30 I think in the second. Could have put some pressure on and maybe snuck out of those two sets, then and then it's a totally different ballgame.
In the end, I had to try and forget about those two sets and losing them so tight and having those chances and try to find a way to get back in the match.
I felt like I did find a way to get back in; I just couldn't quite finish it off.

Q. You probably don't feel too well-disposed for Hawk-Eye after that match. Two crucial matches, tight calls went against you.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, as I said, I didn't really have anything go my way today. Net cords, you name it, I didn't have it.
The Hawk-Eye one, the first point of the tiebreak, I was baffled by that being in. No chalk came up, no chalk on the ball. Yeah, too good.

Q. Your opponent had some treatment. Were you aware of him slowing down, being affected in any way by his injury?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not at all. I didn't notice any difference. He was still serving 130s out there even straight after he got treatment end of the third set.
He was down breakpoint first game of the fourth. He came out and was serving 130s on breakpoints. He served well, especially on big points.

Q. Do you ever think there's some sort of gamesmanship about having treatment after a set has been dropped?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's within the rules. Anyone can do it. You can definitely exploit it. It's within the rules.

Q. Can you assess the difference between the Djokovic you beat at the US Open last year in straight sets and the one you played today?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's a little bit more confident at the moment. He didn't try too hard in New York last year. That's probably the biggest difference. He had all the shots. He didn't really put in too hard in that match.
Yeah, he went away after the first set. He's obviously confident at the moment. He hits the ball well from both sides. He's got a lot of power out there, as well.

Q. Can you see anything in the way Djokovic plays, retrieves everything, similar build to yourself, isn't he?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, little bit. He does move extremely well. He turns defense into offense very quickly, as well, because of probably his movement. Yeah, his first serve's good, but his second serve has a lot of work on it as well. It's not easy to attack.

Q. Are you impressed with how he handles the pressure of tiebreaks?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, these last couple matches, against Kiefer he won a couple big tiebreaks as well. He's obviously doing something right.

Q. When you went down in the tiebreak, 0-4 point, did you hurt yourself?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I just felt something in my ankle. I think my ankle brace saved me. I definitely rolled my ankle. Yeah, it's not too bad at the moment. I got a little bit lucky.

Q. What's the lead-up for you to the US Open?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Don't know at the moment. Haven't even thought about it really.

Q. You played some good tennis here and at the French Open. How important is it to you to appoint a new coach, or are you pretty comfortable with how things are at the moment?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I feel comfortable at the moment. I feel like the last couple of months I've been able to step it up. I did some good training with Darren back in Sydney before I came away to the clay court season.
I was training hard. That held me in good stead. Hamburg gave me a lot of confidence. Yeah, to go so close to Nadal there, but to also have a good result in Paris, and probably could have gone a bit further if I got a bit better draw there.
But, yeah, so far, you know, Fitzy and Darren have been good. I feel pretty relaxed about things.

Q. It's a great resource, isn't it? Do you feel like you're at the stage of your career where you necessarily need one voice as a coach all the time, or are you happy taking advice here and there from people you trust?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. There's certain times I guess where it's the best of both worlds. Yeah, the last couple months I know how to play the game. I know all my opponents out there. I know how they're going to play. I've seen them all play so many times.
Darren has been exceptionally good. Then Fitzy's come in during the two slams, just added little reminders for my game more than anything, not so much my opponent's. That's been good for me, that reassurance.
Just little things, whether it's on my serve, rhythm. Just little things out there which you keep in the back of your mind, which is a lot easier than probably doing it by yourself.

Q. There's been a bit of speculation about you teaming up with Tony Roche. Do you have any plans to talk to him?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. A lot of people have read into it. I haven't spoken to Rochey. Yeah, I heard Greg Rusedski say, Yes, it's happening after this tournament yesterday. That's news to me.

Q. On Djokovic's performance today, can you see him going all the way to the final on Sunday, particularly in view of the fact he's going to have to play another three successive matches?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. I don't even know who won the other matches in our half. Who does he play?

Q. Baghdatis.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. When I played Baghdatis in the quarters last year I was pretty impressed with the way he played. For him to take care of Nalbandian so comfortably in the third round, I think that will take a little bit out of Djokovic, today's match, as well.
I like Baghdatis' chances.

Q. Looking back to this time last year, lot of big changes in your life: got married; had a baby. Do you feel like now you're back sort of in more balance in terms of personal life, professional life, or...
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't feel that big a change, to be honest, with it all. I felt pretty comfortable. Obviously traveling with an infant, that's the biggest challenge I guess at the start. She's been great. Makes it a lot easier if me.
I feel comfortable right at the moment where I'm at, both on and off the court, which is good. I would have liked to have a couple more wins, but that's about it.

Q. How much upside is there to your game at the moment going towards the end of the year?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, basically I've only got the US Open points-wise for the rest of the year. Yeah, it's a good opportunity for me to play some big Masters Series events both before and after the US Open.
Yeah, I feel like there's areas of my game which have been worked on and are doing better over the past couple months. Hopefully I can continue. I still feel there's room for more improvement.

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