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June 30, 2008

Lleyton Hewitt


R. FEDERER/L. Hewitt
7-6, 6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton Hewitt.

Q. Do you feel that was one that got away, especially after the first set?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I don't know about "got away." I lost in straight sets.
You know, the first set could have gone either way. The tiebreak I had chances. I had a second serve, sort of went after it. He put a little bit more kick on it. I just didn't quite time it. That was a big point in the tiebreak.
Yeah, then I came in on a ball, and he hit a pretty good pass. I came in on a pretty good slice. He hit a good backhand up-the-line passing shot to get up a mini break, and then hit a big ace to finish it off.
Then I just played a couple of, you know -- a loose double-fault at deuce first game of the second set, and that opened it up for him.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about his serving, what he does?
LLEYTON HEWITT: He served extremely well today. Yeah, any quarter chances that I did get, you know, I didn't have them for long. Yeah, he hit every line out there with his serve today. That's why he's the best player going around, especially on this surface. Serve is so important. He hit the target every time.
I had a few breakpoint chances there late in the second set and early in the third set. I didn't do too much wrong with them.

Q. Is the daunting thing about playing him that he obviously gets the shots in so well, or is there also a psychological barrier for everyone that he has such a great record? Is that something you have to try to overcome as well?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, you don't focus too much on that. Once you go out there to play it's about what you can do to try to, yeah, upset his rhythm, not play into his comfort zone too much.
But, yeah, when he's serving like that it's not easy on this surface purely because, as I said the other day, his serve sets up the point for him to play in his comfort zone. It's very hard to take him out of that zone.

Q. Must get very disspiriting. Seems like every time you get a bit close, he's able to step up another level. Does that get you down when you're playing like that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know about "another level." He stayed pretty similar the whole way through.
But, yeah, it was just the last five years or so he's played the big points extremely well. That's where the difference is.

Q. You did 14 aces against Bolelli. Today I think three or four. What does that mean? Does that mean you served worse or that Federer is much quicker in returning and moving and getting your serves?
LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit of both. I didn't serve probably as well today. Roger's never gonna hit you off the court with his return of serve, though. He gets it back to start the point, whereas a guy like Bolelli is probably going after it a little bit more and swinging.
So you can probably -- yeah, with Roger, you can probably go for your serve a little bit more on your first serve, because even on the second serve he's not going to hurt you with that first hit like a lot of other returners. Quite often he just blocks it back into play with a slice backhand.
So I'm not sure. I didn't hit probably as many targets as I would have liked on the serve. But, you know, he handles Andy Roddick and Karlovic and all the big servers pretty well. You know, actually getting the ball back in play, he does extremely well from the return of serve.
An actual attacking returner, he's not one of those.

Q. How far away do you feel you are from the best two or three guys at the moment?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Uhm, yeah, it's hard to say. Out there today I didn't feel like I was that far away. But then the big points, he played, you know, a lot better than I did. Yeah, even the first game I had Love-30, and then he hit four big first serves to win that game.
Any time I tried to take a step I couldn't really, you know, put any momentum together, I guess, or put any pressure on his service games.
Obviously he, Djokovic and Nadal are the three stand-outs at the moment, especially on a week-in, week-out basis. Yeah, I don't feel like I'm that far away.

Q. Do you feel you can get back into the top four, to get to the point where you're not drawing Roger in the first Monday of the second week?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I've got to play a lot more matches to get the ranking back up there. That comes with, you know, being healthy and staying injury-free, too.

Q. Are you committed to doing that, playing that many matches, if you can?
LLEYTON HEWITT: If the body does, yeah. If the body holds up.

Q. What are your plans now? Are you going to look at Olympics and US Open, or are you going to have to assess the hip injury and possibly consider missing those for surgery?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm not sure yet. I've tried to not focus on it too much. But, yeah, this was the tournament that I wanted to play in. Now I'll probably try and focus more on, you know, career-wise, you know, trying to get the hip right because, you know, right at the moment it's not just getting any better.
So I'm just gonna have to speak to more people and see what my best options are.

Q. Does it get worse through matches?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. As the match goes on it gets a little bit worse.

Q. So losing the first set was even more crucial to you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Against a guy like Roger it is. He's a pretty good frontrunner, too.

Q. Do you go back to Sydney straightaway?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think so, no.

Q. How does it feel becoming a dad for the second time?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, good. Thanks.

Q. Is the baby due in January?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure.

Q. Just given the hip and whatever you might do, as long as the body holds out, you'd be trying to come back next year to Wimbledon, that's the plan?
LLEYTON HEWITT: To where, sorry?

Q. Here next year.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. This is one of the major tournament, so I hope to be back here.

End of FastScripts

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