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June 23, 2008

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/R. Haase
6-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Lleyton Hewitt. We'll take the first question, please.

Q. Obviously a very tough match. Good to get through.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you know, tried to do as much homework before the match. Spoke to quite a few players. I'd never really seen him play that much before. And, you know, all the guys I spoke to and had played against him said he was a very dangerous player.
So, you know, I was expecting a tough match out there today. Yeah, he served extremely well for five sets. Perhaps, you know, lost his first-serve percentage a little bit in the fifth set, which I had to take advantage of.
But apart from that, you know, he's got a lot of firepower from both sides as well.

Q. Does it get harder to come through five-set matches like that as you get older, do you think?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes and no. But, you know, if I get into a fifth set I'm feeling pretty confident. So, you know, obviously I was disappointed that I lost the fourth set because I felt like I had the whole momentum in the fourth set. I just wasn't quite able to get those, you know, little chances or take those chances throughout the fourth set.
But, you know, obviously he came out and won it in a tiebreak. You know, I was a little thankful that I was going to be advantage in the fifth set.

Q. Do you think it was your experience that counted against his maybe?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, a little bit. I lost serve once for the match, and that was only at 5-1 in the third set, I think. So apart from that I really didn't feel like I was under pressure a lot on my service games, and I felt like I was putting a lot more pressure on his.
That's the good thing about five sets out there. The fifth set is an advantage set. Even though he played a couple of great sets where I couldn't break his serve, I was still able to get, you know, through.

Q. These are pretty crucial times for the ATP. Are you satisfied with the board election that took place this weekend? Do you favor retaining Etienne de Villiers as the chairman or would you like to see a change at the top?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't -- I still don't know anything about the board, who is on the board or the council. To tell you the truth, I haven't been that worried about it, especially this week.
Yeah, right at the moment I haven't been on the tour leading into the French Open, whatever, when the guys were having a lot of talk about what should probably be going on in that. Right at the moment I'm not too fussed.

Q. Does it worry you that it was that hard a game on day one? Does it affect your confidence at all about how far you can go this time?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. When you sit down at the start of the tournament, to win the tournament, you have to win seven best-of-five matches. You got to get through those seven matches somehow.
Every opponent's different, and my opponent on Wednesday's gonna be -- it's gonna be chalk and cheese with the guy that I played today in terms of my whole strategy against him. They're both styles of play as well. You really have to focus on that match that you have to come up against.

Q. Do your expectations lower as you get further away from 2002?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really, no.

Q. When you say "chalk and cheese," what do you remember of Montanes from the last time you played him two years ago?
LLEYTON HEWITT: On grass he doesn't have the biggest serve. He's not going to serve me off the court like this guy could potentially today. Yeah, he's got a sneaky sort of slice serve out there and then a pretty good kick second serve, but you're always going to have a shot at it.
The toughest thing, he's a clay court specialist, there's no doubt about that. He's going to have a good forehand and he moves well. But, you know, he's not going to feel that comfortable on grass, which is a good thing.

Q. How, specifically, does the hip affect you when you're playing? Is it about speed? Is it about direction?
LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit of everything, yeah. It's sort of -- yeah, every shot pretty much at different times. Obviously, when I've got to move and get in certain positions, then it's a lot worse obviously.
But it's not just one position that, you know, I sort of say, yeah, that's it. That's where I feel it, so...

Q. Could you estimate what percentage fitness you are at at the moment?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to put a number on it really. Right at the moment I'm probably a little worse than four hours ago (smiling). But, yeah, it's hard to put a number on it. But come Wednesday I'll be fine.

Q. What do you do treatment-wise between now and then?
LLEYTON HEWITT: There's not a whole lot I can really do to turn it around in such short notice. It's more ice, massage, yeah, just stretching, trying to not make it any worse in the next 24 hours, 48 hours.

Q. How many foot faults were you called for? How distracting is that to you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure how many got called in the end. The more distracting part is probably, yeah, after you get called once you stand back a bit further obviously, because for some reason there's only one person that kept calling. We played two and a half sets without that one person when they changed people, and then the same bloke came back again and I got done again.
That was my query to Fergus Murphy in the chair. Even when that other person down the other baseline end wasn't calling foot faults. And then we swapped and got two totally new people when they changed linespeople and they both didn't call it.
Then this bloke's come back again and called it, so that was my biggest query.

Q. Was he right to call your conduct unsportsmanlike?
LLEYTON HEWITT: When I tapped the ball over to him?

Q. Whatever the guy in the chair called you unsportsmanlike for.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. After I held serve I just tapped the ball across. It didn't touch him.

Q. Was it a fair call by him, or not?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I would doubt it. No, I would be fighting that.

Q. When you come back each year, do you have any sense of how many more Wimbledons you have left in you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I guess more so probably with injuries you're just never sure what's around the corner. Obviously coming here this year, yeah, for me two months ago, there were probably a few doubts that I'd be able to play here. Speaking to doctors and getting scans and that.
I had to make decisions on where I felt I was at and whether it was, you know, too much risk to come and play here and the French Open.
So, yeah, probably more so from an injury front you just don't know what's around the corner. But in terms of playing, yeah, doesn't cross my mind. I'm thankful that I'm here this year and enjoying it.

Q. I think I'm right that you were hitting with Andy Murray over the weekend here.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, we warmed up one day.

Q. Can you give us an indication, did his game seem pretty sharp to you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, we didn't do anything the day we hit. It was blowing a hurricane yesterday, so... It was very hard to judge where Andy's at just on that hit. Obviously he's got an outside chance of doing well here and going into the second week of a Grand Slam.
I don't think he's made a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam yet. I have no idea what his draw's like. But potentially with the way that he plays, he moves extremely well on this surface, he's got a shot.

Q. Do you have any advice for Gooch, whose Grand Slam record is a bit underwhelming at this point, and he had another disappointing loss today. Do you speak to him at all about how he can turn things around? He is obviously the successor to you clearly when you do go.
LLEYTON HEWITT: I only just found out before I walked in here that he'd lost today. Yeah, it's a tough one. Playing a lucky loser, I don't know when he would have found out that he's playing a different guy. I don't know if he knew much about the guy, as well.
It's a tough situation in that, but there's no doubt that he's got to take advantage of that, as well. So, yeah, he's been a little under the weather this whole week, as well, which isn't the best thing. But over five sets on this surface, he'd have to like his chances.
Yeah, even if he's not feeling a hundred percent he's got to try and find a way to get through those matches in Grand Slams. That's where he's really got to get to that next level, that's what he needs to do.

Q. What do you think of your draw with Federer in the fourth round?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not even focused on that at the moment. I got to get there.

Q. Doesn't wake you up in the middle of the night?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I might play him in the final if I was in the other half. I'm not sure what you're getting to.

Q. Do you spend much time with the sort of up-and-coming kids in Australia like Bernard Tomic?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I haven't spent a lot with Bernard. He was at our last Davis Cup tie. That was pretty much the first time I met him, seen him around at all. I probably spent more time. Out of the juniors, probably Brydan Klein over the last couple years, purely because he's been at Davis Cup ties, I've been able to hit with him quite a bit.
You try and help them out as much as possible. I've had some of the younger guys come across to my house in Sydney and hit there as well. Yeah, when it fits in, it's good for them, and it's good for me, as well.

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