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August 17, 2007

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You seemed like you had a lot of energy, especially that first set. Did you feel pretty fresh out there?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I felt good. Especially after of the condition yesterday. It was very zapping for everyone I think. It was a battle to get through yesterday and my body felt good out there today. Yeah, I just tried to dictate play as much early on, and I really did that really well.

Q. As well as you've been playing in the tournament, how important is it not just to get this win today but to keep going in this tournament?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's good. All these big tournaments, it's hard enough winning the first match let alone getting to the semis and finals. To back up last week. Lost to Federer in the quarters.
Felt like I hit the ball pretty well that week, and it's good it back up it this week into the semis and get another shot.

Q. Carlos said you're a top 10 player, or on your way to being a top 10 player. Do you permit yourself to think of yourself in that sort of category again?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I think at my best I'm easily in the top 10. There's a lot guys I felt comfortable about beating when I'm playing at my best. The last couple of years I've had niggling injuries, so, yeah, that's been the hardest thing: Getting on court and getting match time.

Q. Do you think people forget about you at big tournaments like this because you're not physically in the top 10?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I don't think the players do.

Q. But I guess that's all that matters to you.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I've just got to -- doesn't worry me. Like Gasquet second round I had here. Pretty tough draw on paper. I feel quite confident now and the draw has opened up nicely and I find myself in the last four now.

Q. But when you're not seeded that makes it tougher, too, doesn't it?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Sometimes. I've been seeded between 13 and 16 at the majors. The last couple majors I ran into Nadal and Djokovic in the Round of 16. So sometimes if you're not seeded you can knock out a lower seed early on and get a better draw. At the end of the day you got beat who's put in front of you.

Q. I guess you have a little bit of a unique perspective in that you're not currently a top 10 player, but it seems like you play with a confidence of a guy who's in the top 10.
LLEYTON HEWITT: I feel like I'm capable of beating nearly anyone on a given day. I've done it before in big tournaments and being there. A lot these guys that are even sitting in the Top 15, you know, haven't played big tournaments and Grand Slam semis and finals before.

Q. Because you were No. 1 for so long, does that allow you to have that swagger even if you're No. 20 in the world right now? Hey, I was once No. 1, I can still beat these guys.
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I know myself what I'm capable of doing. Yeah, as I said, I feel like on any given day I'm capable of beating any of these guys. It makes at it a lot easier the last few months the body's been feeling good.
So that makes it easier to go out there and be confident and try and play the way that you want to play.

Q. Why is the body feeling good the last few months?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I had a couple injuries in Indian Wells/Miami. I couldn't really play and had to pull out of Miami. Spent a couple months, about a month and a half getting the body right.
I was trying to do a lot of strength work and working on areas where it's been playing up a little bit in the past. Since Rome and Hamburg it's been good.

Q. It was a back problem?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It was back, yeah, hips. Different areas I was having a few issues with.

Q. If on any given day you can beat anyone, and certainly you've proven that here in the past, where does Federer come into this conversation?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, yeah, he's the best player going around at the moment, and he's had the wood on me last nine, ten times that we've played. So for three or four years now.
So, yeah, that's the benchmark, though. That's what you're competing against and trying to put your best foot forward and give yourself a chance to play against the best guys such as Rog late in the tournament. Hopefully I get another shot in tomorrow.

Q. Is there any way to figure out a way to get an advantage against him?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, no one has really been able to figure it out so far. Yeah, he's pretty good. He's obviously a great all-court player. He's got all the shots and he's got a great head on his shoulders as well. He's one of the best players we've seen in the modern era.
He doesn't have too much off days either where he gives you opportunities, so if you do get those opportunities you really have to take them against him.

Q. What was the match like in Canada?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I think it was good. Both of us were striking the ball pretty well. It was probably only his serving that got him out of trouble on big points when I had breakpoints late in the first set. I probably didn't serve as well as I could have, and that was probably the biggest difference.

Q. Next year the schedule around this time is pretty brutal with the Olympics and not much time off between Wimbledon and the Masters Series events. Do you have to plan in advance how you're going to work that schedule, assuming you're going to the Olympics?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I will have to plan. I haven't looked at it as of yet, though. Sure, I'll have to plan. Obviously Wimbledon is a major, and hopefully I'll be competing the last few days of Wimbledon.
It's going to be tough. Four years ago I didn't play -- three years ago I didn't play the Olympics in Athens to concentrate on the US Open and it paid dividends that year.
But, yeah, at this stage I think I'm planning on playing the Olympics, so we'll see what happens.

Q. If it comes down having to chose between Cincinnati and Toronto is there any discernible difference as to why somebody would choose one over the other?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think so. Biggest thing for me is I've always played a lot better in Cincinnati than I have in Canada. So it'll be an easier choice for me. But, yeah, I don't think players, if they did have to chose, if they felt that was the best thing for their body or the US Open or the Olympics, or whatever, yeah, it's a toss of the coin. Everyone probably has their preferences.

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