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January 9, 2008

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are your thoughts on the match?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Unlucky. About the only word I can come up with at the moment.

Q. Some 50/50 calls, couple of line calls, maybe that controversial half volley of his --

Q. Do you think it was pretty dubious?
LLEYTON HEWITT: There's no way the ball can bounce that way if you've got under that. But with that said, I was -- I had four breakpoints in the match and I didn't face a breakpoint in the whole match.
I wasn't lucky today. I'm just hoping that all comes together next week.

Q. Chris wants to get into the top 50 this year. Do you think that's achievable for him?
LLEYTON HEWITT: With his game, yeah. Absolutely. He can win matches on all surfaces. He's a dangerous player to play against. He's got one of the best serves in the game, there's no doubt about that, and I think he moves well at the net as well.

Q. Have you been happy with the umpiring decisions in the two matches here?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No. I feel like cricket is (indiscernible.) What's going on with all the refs these days? Useless.

Q. You sound pretty disappointed.
LLEYTON HEWITT: At the moment I'm pretty frustrated because I felt like I played a pretty good match out there. I felt like I was the better player the whole match and I think the stats showed that.
The first set I had three breakpoints and the second set I had one breakpoint and could have easily been a 4 and 4 out there. That's probably the most frustrating thing. I felt like my serve came together well today.
You got that take your hat off to him, though. In the big points he served well, especially in the first set. Just those half chances I had to take them.

Q. Are you happy with the balls? A lot of players are complaining about the balls becoming heavier and fluffy.
LLEYTON HEWITT: The ball becomes a bit fluffy. I think after probably three games or is that gets pretty heavy, I think. Yeah, that plays totally different with new balls.

Q. Richard Gasquet said that the balls are bigger than what he's used to and it favors the stronger players. Do you think that it's true?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know if that's the case. Sometimes guys that sit out there and grind sometimes it favors them is a well because they don't miss and the other guys find it harder to hit winners against them. Say all the guys that get a lot of balls back. You can look at that both ways.

Q. What do you think of the overall standard of umpiring?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Pretty ordinary.

Q. What do you think can be done about that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. There's got to be some kind of standards, I think. I think central umpires are probably gone into their shell more so since Hawk-Eye has come in, which, okay, that's fine in major tournaments. But at the smaller tournaments where you don't have Hawk-Eye you have to stand up and make decisions.
So, you know, it's obviously tough for them because one week they've got Hawk-Eye and the next week they don't.

Q. Why do you think the standard isn't what it used to be years ago?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. Who wants to be an umpire? Here. You can have a go.

Q. Australian Open, looking forward that now. What is your prep now? Will you go down early or stay at home?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. Just try and hit some balls in the next few days and basically just keep the rhythm. I felt like I had pretty good rhythm out there today. If I can keep the service rhythm like I did today hopefully I'll be in the mix.

Q. So certainly not pushing the panic button just yet for the tilt?
LLEYTON HEWITT: The major tournament hasn't started yet, so there's no point getting worried. I felt all in all today the ball striking was pretty good.

Q. Do you feel like you've had enough matches to go in well-prepared for the Australian Open?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You never know. If you get through your first couple of the matches you're happy. Now I just got to focus on next Monday or Tuesday and getting off to a good start and hopefully getting that first round under my belt and then building on that.

Q. Do you think there's anything that you can improve from now on?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I don't think you can improve too much in two or three days. You know, I've done all the hard work, and now I've just got trust what I've been doing. As I said, if I can just keep that rhythm going that I felt like I had out there today, hopefully that will do it for me.

Q. Playing best-of-five sets in a Grand Slam a lot different than best-of-three here?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely, especially in that kind of match today. I think you get a lot more chances over five sets. Against a guy like Chris or Karlovic or those guys it's a bit of a lottery really. It's a shootout.

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