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July 1, 2009

Lleyton Hewitt


A. RODDICK/L. Hewitt
6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Hard to combat that service game of Andy's?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. You know you're going to get aced a lot. I knew that going into the match. Yeah, you're gonna get some breakpoints and you're going to see them go pretty quickly as well.
It was a matter of trying to hang in there as much as possible and make him play that extra shot. I was nearly able to do it.

Q. You were clutching your leg at times. How big a factor was that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I was a little bit sore stretching out, on my serve as well. That was probably the biggest issue. But, you know, still was able to go the distance and go five sets.

Q. Double-faults early on. Was that an issue with your serve?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it wasn't -- yeah, one of the worse things was trying to push off from my left leg. So, yeah, just grabbed, you know, a lot when I tried to push off sometimes. Yeah, I didn't serve quite as well as I would have liked.

Q. In a few days when the disappointment of this match subsides, how do you think you'll look back on the Championships as a whole?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, there's a lot of positives to take out of it. The guys that I've beaten. Yeah, especially the Del Potro match, the way that I actually went out there and took it to him. Yeah, played great tennis for three sets against a worthy opponent.
Yeah, even losing to Andy today. Yeah, he's one of the best grass court players out there. He's been to a couple of Wimbledon finals, a few semis here as well. Yeah, it's not a bad loss, but I would have liked to have snuck through.

Q. You've seen Andy Roddick's game in all the different stages of his career. What are your thoughts on the way he's playing right now?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not a huge difference really throughout his career. His strengths are still the same. His slight weaknesses are still pretty much the same, as well.
Yeah, he's maybe trying to stand up in the court a little bit more than he was a couple of years ago, you know, especially returning serve probably, not trying to get dictated too much behind the baseline.
Yeah, he mixes it up well as well. When you got a serve like he has he can take a few chances, a few risks on his opponent's service game.

Q. What are your thoughts on the matchup, Andy versus Andy?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think it's gonna be a tough one for Roddick to win. I think, you know, when I've seen Andy Murray at his best, I think he matches up extremely well against Roddick.
Yeah, it's going to be an interesting match. A couple years ago I saw them play here because they were in my section, and Murray took care of him convincingly. And Murray's a lot better player now than he was then.
Roddick's gonna have to play a helluva match to beat him.

Q. How much does a five-setter like that take out of you physically and mentally?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it takes it out. Obviously Roddick will be on a high as well though, getting through. But physically he's gonna have to recover, you know, quickly.
I mean, Murray I don't think, had too tough a time out there today, so he's gonna be feeling pretty fresh.

Q. A lot was made of Murray's recovery after the game on Monday, the fact he was 22. Andy Roddick is only four years older. Will that be a significant factor?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think it will be a lot. Yeah, Roddick has a lot of easy service games as well where doesn't have to work for every point out there either.
So it's probably slightly different than playing a guy recovering that had to play five sets of grinding from the back of the court against another baseline player.

Q. Andy said after the match that maybe going back five years, six, I don't know how many years, might have been a bit sort of fi or scrappy between you two. But I think his quote was, We're just a couple of old married dudes now. It was a different sort of sense of the match. Did you feel that as well?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I think we re both -- we were giving everything we had out there. Yeah, I don't think we left -- either of us left anything in the locker room, that's for sure.
So, yeah, I don't know. I guess -- I'm not really sure what he means by that. Yeah, as I said, you know, I think we were both going pretty hard out there.

Q. Take us through the break game late in the fifth.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I couldn't take my chances when I needed to. Yeah, I just missed a couple of short forehands there when I had the opportunity to come in on his backhand.
Then on breakpoint I actually played a good point, and he came up with a good pass. Yeah, he hit a lob at my feet. I had to come up with a half volley. Wasn't able to hit the half volley, sort of half volley dropshot, short enough. So he got up there and hit a good pass.

Q. Compare Andy's serve to the other great serves that are in the game today.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he's definitely one of the great servers out there. Yeah, he's up there with the best of them. Karlovic, obviously he's a different kind of server, though. Just the way that the ball's coming down from his height, it's so different to anyone else out there.
It's very hard to compare his serve with anyone's. Apart from that, Roddick's is as good as anyone.

Q. The umpire missed a call or the linesman didn't make a call, and Andy was disputing it at the change of ends. Did you get a sense he got a little distracted at that point?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really. I didn't really know what was going on. Yeah, I think Andy was more just frustrated that he didn't break that game, you know, was letting his emotions out during the changeover. Didn't worry him too much.

Q. Did you have trouble with your grip there a few times?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I was just a little bit sweaty. Yeah, just struggling a little bit a couple of times.

Q. You've moved forward in the rankings now. Look forward to the next slam, the tournaments in between?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, obviously the US Open will be the next focus. Yeah, for me it's just about getting my body right and being able to compete there again.
You know, it was disappointing that I missed it last year. Yeah, it will be nice to go back to Flushing Meadows. It's one of my favorite tournaments obviously. Special place for me to go back to. It's nice going back there not having to defend any points either.

Q. Do you go back there with more belief than you might have had after this sort of week and a half?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, absolutely. I think just knowing what I'm capable of playing like and the standard that I'm able to play over five sets against the best guys in the world, back-to-back matches in Grand Slams.
And, yeah, as I said early in the week, I've had to put myself out there and try and play a lot of tournaments this year to get back in that routine of playing a lot of matches.
Even though I lost this one today, I came through the tight match against Stepanek, the clutch match against Del Potro. Even though I played a lot of those years ago, you still got to get back in that routine.

Q. A lot of players have had serious setbacks and great comebacks late in their career. How does this period now where you're fighting back compare with the early days where you had all your great triumphs?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't know. I guess now sort of for me it's more looking at the last phase of my career and trying to get as much out of it as possible. Yeah, doing all the hard work to get as much out of it as I can the next few years.
Yeah, right at the moment, after the surgery, I knew it wasn't going to be easy to get back, it was gonna take time. Yeah, now the body's feeling good. It's time to keep pressing on.

Q. In some ways is it even more satisfying now?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, yeah, I guess after having a surgery and you're not a hundred percent sure -- you're never a hundred percent sure after a surgery how well you're gonna feel after that, how quickly it's going to be able to come back and whether you're gonna be able to compete with the best guys in the world.
You know, I feel now that I'm able to do that.

Q. Has your performance here suggested that you're ahead of where you perhaps expected to be, or have you sort of performed as you expected to coming in?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, coming into this particular tournament I felt pretty good physically, and I knew mentally I'd be able to hang around for five sets against the best guys.
Yeah, it's more just an extra added belief now that I can go out there and you know you can do it more than anything.

Q. If you'd played Murray, it would have been a nice Ashes appetizer. Who is going to win the Ashes?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. Feeling pretty confident at the moment. You guys don't talk about the last one. You just keep going back to '05. Everything on the TV is '05. There was one in between that. Everyone's forgotten.

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