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June 25, 2008

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/A. Montanes
7-6, 6-0, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Lleyton Hewitt. First question, please.

Q. Given how tough it was the other day, how much of a bonus was it for you today to get through so quickly?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was good to get through in straight sets. You know, first set was difficult, though, because it was such a different opponent to the other day. He was serving well. It was hard to get into his service games.
When I did get 15-30 or Love-30 a couple of times in the first set he came out with some good first serves. You know, he's got a very underrated serve. It's not the best serve, it's not the biggest out there, but it's very hard to do anything with.
As the match went on, though, I felt more and more comfortable with how I was playing.

Q. How is the hip feeling?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, same as it's been the last couple of months.

Q. Did it pull up all right from your first match? You said it all depended on how it pulled up.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it pulled up like I expected, so...

Q. Would you be surprised if Bolelli gets through here?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I wouldn't be surprised. I think it could go either way. González is hit-and-miss sometimes, as well. You're just not a hundred percent sure what you got.
I played Bolelli here in the second round last year. Even the score line says it was a lot easier than the match was, though. He's improved a lot over the last probably six, eight months, especially on clay.
You know, whichever guy I come up against I have to go up a notch or two on today.

Q. After the first set, what was the switch? You won nine games in a row from there.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, for the most part I felt pretty comfortable on my service games. But I started, you know, just giving myself a little bit more time on his serve, like standing back a little bit further, just getting myself into the point.
I felt like through the first set I just wasn't picking his serve up enough. When I did get it back, I was giving him the chance to dictate straightaway. I wanted to try to get myself into the point a lot more, and I did that really well in the tiebreak, especially the end of the tiebreak, to win that.
He was a little bit more despondent, I guess, as well at the start of the second set after losing the close tiebreak.

Q. If it came down to it, do you think your body would have seven matches in it over these two weeks?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'd like to think so, yeah. I've played with pain before. As long as it doesn't get too much worse, you know, I can handle it.

Q. What do you do to block it out of your mind? Obviously it's always there. You've got to do something to get through it. What do you do?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, I feel it most of the time when I'm out there. It's just a matter of blocking it out, not dwelling on it too much, I guess, not worrying about it. Unless it got to the stage where I actually couldn't walk out there, you know, I'm gonna keep trying.

Q. Just to try to get an understanding of what you are feeling, can you rate the pain on a scale of 1 to 10?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard. Yeah, sometimes it's worse than others. It's hard to put a finger on it.

Q. You're a guy who had a lot of success when you were young, like Novak. When you start to go consistently deep at majors and then have a setback, what do you do to regroup?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I didn't see a point of the match, so it's hard to tell. Yeah, of course he'd be disappointed because he's been playing unbelievable tennis all this year.
When Marat's on, he's on, as well. I assume he must have played pretty good out there today. He's a tough player to come up against on any surface when he's on.
Yeah, I guess it will make him more hungry to come back here next year. You got to take some positives out of it. The way he played at Queen's was pretty positive, I think, on a grass court.

Q. You and Marat are sort of the same generation. Older guys still making a little bit of noise here.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm really happy for Marat. I get along really well with him. I've practiced a lot with him the last couple of years, but probably more so this year, as well.
I played him in Las Vegas earlier this year. I kind of felt sorry for him on the court. He was terrible. So for him to come out and be able to turn it around and play like this in a big tournament, yeah, it's fantastic for him, really is.

Q. One of your old coaches, Stolz, has had a bit to say about Tennis Australia, what is and isn't being done at the moment. Do you have any thoughts on the current state of development in Australia, and is there something that's not being done that you'd like to see done or vice versa?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's hard. You know, Stolz, I respect Stolz a hell of a lot. I think he's very switched on. Yeah, you've got to listen to some of his comments. I think purely the fact that Stolz, he doesn't make comments that often. He's a very reserved guy. So, obviously, yeah, there's something there that he's not too happy with.
Yeah, Stolz is the kind of guy that wants the best for Australian tennis. He came up in a system where we had a lot of guys doing well. For me, there's no doubt that more guys like Stolz have to be in the system to produce better players. We've got so many great players in the past in Australian tennis. We've got to use 'em.
Apart from that, I haven't had a lot to do with the day-to-day running of it, though.

Q. If we could go back to your hip. You're obviously sore now having come off the court. How do you feel compared to where you thought you'd be or were hoping to be at this stage of the tournament?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I feel fine. I feel like -- I was expecting to be around the mark where I am at the moment. Yeah, it's not gonna go away overnight. It wasn't going to go away between the French Open and Wimbledon.
Yeah, for me, there hasn't been a whole lot of difference in the last couple weeks, which that's a good thing right at the moment.

End of FastScripts

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