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March 18, 2008
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Seemed pretty routine to you, especially in that second set. Was it that way, or how would you assess the match?
LLEYTON HEWITT: In the end it was. In the first set I was obviously down a break. Yeah, I lot of chances to break early on and couldn't quite take him. And then, you know, hung in there and got back into that first set and was able to break and put a lot of pressure on him and frustrate him into going for a few shots that he didn't really want to go for.
Then the second set I played a really good game to break first game in the second set and was able to put pressure on him from then.
Q. Must be pretty happy the way things are going. Last year was kind of a hiccup for you, at least at this tournament. Looks like things are coming together for you.
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's always nice when your body is feeling strong and fit out there. This time last year I had a couple of niggling injuries that hurt my chances here, and then I had to pull out of Miami. It's always good when you're feeling fit and strong and able to go out there and feel like you can compete against the best guys.
Q. Can you just talk about your success here? That must breed a lot of confidence every time you come back here to Indian Wells.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's a great tournament to come back to. I really enjoy playing here. Don't know what it is, but I've always had great success in the desert, whether it's Scottsdale, Vegas, or here.
This one is one of my favorite tournaments to come back to. It's nice to win my first couple of matches here this year.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the next round. Right now Mardy Fish is up a break in the second. He won the first. Can you talk about possibly playing him and then David Davydenko?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, and pretty different players, I guess, Fish is probably a bit more an all-court player and probably got a little more dangerous first serve, but will probably make a few more errors.
Davydenko is obviously extremely solid and a great mover out there and great counter puncher. It's not going to be easy whichever guy I come up against, but I look forward to the challenge and hopefully getting through to a quarter.
Q. I was just typing you in on YouTube and watching you perform Eye of the Tiger.
LLEYTON HEWITT: What's that?
Q. I was watching you perform Eye of the Tiger on YouTube. Have you seen that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I haven't. I don't think I want to.
Q. So was that something you just did spur of the moment and now you regret it?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I think that was something that a lot of the players got forced into.
Q. Forced into?
LLEYTON HEWITT: At the French Open.
THE MODERATOR: You can say coaxed.
LLEYTON HEWITT: I didn't even know it was happening and I got put in a room and I didn't know what was happening.
Q. So you haven't seen the video then or anything?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No. As I said, I don't think I want to.
Q. Karaoke is not your thing, then?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No. After a few drinks with my mates, maybe. Not with a camera.
Q. You're saying that you're feeling pretty healthy and fit and all that. Bearing into mind that you've had your fair share of injury issues, when was the last time you felt as good as you wanted to feel as far as not being injured or anything like that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the Aussie Open I felt pretty good this year. But before that, probably starting in Rome/Hamburg last year, was probably -- and I think it showed in my performances. You know, in Hamburg I played some of the best tennis I've played in my career there last year.
And then French Open I played well and ended up losing to Nadal both weeks. And then at Wimbledon played pretty well as well. Beat Cãnas and lost to Djokovic in a tight match.
So that period I was feeling pretty good about my body. When you're able to go out there and feel like you can compete and feel close to 100 percent out there makes it a lot easier.
Q. I don't know if you talked about this already. I'm sorry if you already have. Can you talk about the Australian Open? It was very unusual for you to play a match well into sunrise, and...
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was strange, but -- yeah, Marcos and I only have ourselves to blame for it going so long, I guess. Yeah, it wasn't going to be ideal for either of us whoever got through in the end.
Obviously Novak was well rested and tucked up in bed, and whoever got through that match was going to be a extremely tough ask to come back and play basically the following day when your whole time clock is out of whack.
So, yeah, I went out there and tried to prepare for that match as well as possible, but, yeah, he was obviously too good.
Q. Just seems like one of those matches that people are going to talk for a long, long time. Do you see it that way, or do you see it more it kind of cost you an opportunity?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, Novak was still too good when he beat me. Yeah, it didn't help my chances. But, yeah, I would doubt probably if right at the moment another match would finish that late after, you know, the amount of talk and publicity that it caused.
Q. Have you seen the Roddick/Haas match?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No.
Q. Do you think that Haas is still a contender for the top 10 again?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Well, he's had -- obviously coming back from another shoulder injury, so he's an extremely talented player. He's been as high as 2 in the world, so he's a great player.
But, yeah, this is sort of a road back for him again. Yeah, he obviously struggled his first couple weeks coming back. It's a great win beating Andy in straight sets here.
End of FastScripts