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August 18, 2007

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You said that in Canada it seemed like he played the big points really well, and it seemed like today you and him both played the big points really well. Would you say that's true?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I certainly played some of bigger points, especially on my serve to get out of trouble a few times. In the second-set tiebreak I played the big points well and in the third-set tiebreak he played the big points well.
All in all he served well when he got to 30-Alls and deuces in big service games, and that's why he's one of greatest players ever. Because he can pull the trigger on the big points and nine times out of ten it comes off.

Q. What is your feeling like after a match like that? You obviously played pretty well and still ended up on the losing side.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, there's a lot of things I can take out of it. A lot closer today than I was last week. Yeah, I had chances 3-2 up a break, 15-Love. I had a volley at the net. Hit the tape. He hit a good pass, so I would have done exactly the same play coming in on his backhand.
I had an opportunity to put a forehand volley away but he hit it a little heavy for me and, you know, then he hit a big forehand up the line and dictated that game was and able to break.
Those half chances you got to take against a guy like Rog. I played a great game to break serve early in the third set when he was serving well. You know, in the end then I you know battled away to get into a tiebreak and just played a couple of lose points in the tiebreak.

Q. How do you feel you handled the adversity? The foot faults in the second set tiebreak, I think one was on his match point and one was on your set point. You won both the those points. You were able to sort of block that out.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I handled it pretty well considering. Sort of kept happening on all the big points. It was a bit frustrating, but, you know, it happened last week a couple times and I handled it as well as I could have.

Q. Did you think they're misreading?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, most of the time. There may be one time in actually, I don't know, that I actually touch the line. But I know for a matter of fact, I've watched it so many times in the past it's just my action where it looks like my foot twists over the line but my shoe is actually not touching the line.
Spoke to the referee again, but there's not a lot I can do with about it when I'm out there.

Q. What was missing today? Was it more mentally competence or was it tactics?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Couple of points, that's it. It was only a couple of points in the match. Could have gone either way. As I said, I was up 3-2 a break, and if I converted there I'm up 4-2 and I could have a go at all his service games. There really wasn't that much in it.

Q. 18 aces.
LLEYTON HEWITT: That's how well he serves on big points.

Q. From an outsiders' point of view, looks like you were playing the best you've played in along time, and the most consistent.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm playing pretty good at the moment. I like playing on the American hard courts. Suits my game. Sort of battled through my first round here. Didn't play the best tennis, but I got through that match and then I got better from better with every match from then on.
If I keep giving myself opportunities against Roger or Rafa or whoever at the end of tournaments, then sooner or later that's going to fall my way. The last tow weeks have been good. It's been real good preparation for me for the US Open. Couldn't have asked for two better weeks, and it's taken the best guy in the world to knock me off.

Q. 11-0 against Federer. Does that make you even more eager to beat him?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You got to count the first seven that I won, so it's not that bad.

Q. In your estimation, or mentally for you, how much of a difference is there in coming this close to beating him and actually beating him, you know, going forward confidence-wise?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's another step in the right direction. Whether or not next time I beat him or not we've got wait and see. I'm going take -- I took a lot of positives even out of a two-set loss last week to him. Felt like the ball striking was good.
There were certain areas of my game that I could still work on. I got a good look at his game, and that helped me for this match today. Got off to a bit of a slow start in the first set. You got to try and hang with him early, because he's one of the best front runners in the world.
So that made at that hard for me. I had to dig real deep to get out of second set.

Q. Looked like you've added a couple shots to your game recently. You chip up the line more than I've seen before.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a couple of times. I guess when you're confident and playing well you start going for more shots and shots that you do on the practice court more than the match court.
Yeah, and I felt like I was hitting and seeing the ball well enough out there. But against a guy like Rog it's not that easy to do the shots you do in practice because he doesn't allow you to do it too often.

Q. When was the last time you felt this good going into a Grand Slam?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, in Hamburg and Austria I felt pretty good going into the French Open ball striking-wise. This has really just been a continue on from that. Going into Wimbledon I was hitting the ball well in practice.
Yeah, the guys, as I keep saying, the guys that have beaten me in the last few months have been the best players in the world, in the top two or three. I'm obviously doing something right against a lot ranked players. It's just trying to get that breakthrough against the big names.

Q. Can you contrast what's it's like when you and Roger play like five years ago or even in the juniors?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's obviously got a lot more weapons than he had back then. He doesn't make the easy mistakes that he used to make. He was a little bit more erratic when he first came on the tour. That's the biggest difference.
He's so confident out there as well. That's helps an awful lot when you win whatever, 11, 12 Grand Slams that he's won. It's sort of second nature when he steps out on the court.

Q. What is your schedule next week?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Just practice and try and keep the rhythm going basically. Have some good hits with some good tough players and try and rest up. Hopefully it always goes all right.

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