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August 18, 2009

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/R. Soderling
4-6, 7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Thoughts on your win this afternoon? You saved a couple match points in the second set tiebreak.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was good. It was always gonna be a tough match against Soderling. He's been playing great the last three or four months. Such a big hitter out there. He wants to play on his terms and he wants to dictate play. Sort of had to weather the storm out there today and wait for my opportunities.
Second set tiebreak could have gone either way, obviously. You know, I played a good game the first game of the third set to break serve, and served well for the rest of that set.

Q. What were the pleasing aspects of that performance, say, compared to last week in Montreal?
LLEYTON HEWITT: My body felt a lot better. That was the difference. Yeah, gave me a lot of confidence to be able to actually go out there and compete. Last week in Montreal I couldn't compete, which is frustrating.
So, yeah, I felt it was a very high standard match. Both of us hit the ball extremely well. We both hit it extremely clean. He's the kind of guy who's gonna hit a lot of winners out there. You sort of got to make him play that one extra shot a lot of times. You can see the confidence. He's swinging at the hips and swinging very freely at the moment.

Q. So this leg problem that you talked about after your match in Montreal, that's gone? You're a 100%?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Getting there. Feel a lot better than last week, that's for sure.

Q. How do you define success at this stage of your career?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not sure. For me, it's still -- yeah, obviously this year has been a bit different coming back from the hip surgery. Probably didn't have, you know, quite the expectations that I've had on myself going into, you know, matches I guess since I was world No. 1 and in the top 10 for a lot of years there.
This year are has been a little bit different. For me, it's been more about getting the body as close to 100% as possible, but more preparing for the four majors and trying to get my ranking up there as quickly as possible.

Q. How are you happy with where it is right now, 42?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I have no points to defend. I didn't play this time last year. So, yeah, so far this year, you know, I've got better and better as the year's gone on. I was happy winning in Houston on clay there and not dropping a set. But then Wimbledon was when I played some of my best tennis.

Q. Today I believe Soderling had 50 unforced errors, and you had only had 11. Can you talk about your focus today and how you were able to minimize those?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Um, yeah, that was always gonna be the matchup though, really. He would have had 50 unforced errors and probably so many more winners as well. Yeah, it's a big difference. Both our games are so different, the styles of play out there.
So for me, as I said, it was more about weathering the storm and trying to get that extra ball back in play and make him come up with the extra shots. In the tiebreak, obviously if he's serving he's gonna be tough to beat.
When I was able to get those small opportunities in his second serve, then I really had to take 'em.

Q. Just your thoughts, you know, next opponent, Benjamin Becker.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, gonna be a tough match. Never played against him before. I think this surface probably suits his game, the style of play he plays. He got through his first round quite comfortably, so I won't be taking him lightly.

Q. Speak of Federer, you two have experienced a lot of same things: you been No. 1, not been No. 1, married, father. What do you think keeps him going?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not sure. I guess when he's feeling good and that he's obviously -- you know, I guess the records and still Grand Slams, I'm guessing anyway.
I think when you've been to No. 1 and you've obviously won slams, that's sort of where you want to play your best tennis, I guess. You know, I'm sure the same is for Roger.

Q. So you think the taste of success is what keeps driving him?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, in the majors I think, absolutely.

Q. Andy Roddick, you played him three times this year: twice on grass and once indoor. Have you sensed that he's improved and doing things better on the court, making better decisions? What's your take on that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Maybe a little bit. It's hard to say. I don't think it's been, for me personally, a huge difference. He's probably hitting his backhand a little bit better. His strength has always been his serve and the way that he can take care of his service games and obviously use his forehand extremely well as well. He moves around the court well for a big guy.
I guess just, yeah, winning some tight matches gives him confidence as well. He probably lost a couple of those matches early last year, and then makes it tough to get out of that situation.

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