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January 25, 2010

Lleyton Hewitt


R. FEDERER/L. Hewitt
6-2, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How disappointing was that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's always disappointing when you lose in a Grand Slam. But he played special tennis though. Hit the ball extremely clean, and I just couldn't get into his service games, which made it tough.

Q. Do you get the feeling that he seems to lift his play against you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he hasn't played too many bad matches against me. Tonight was as good as, yeah, US Open final in 2004. He had patches where he played, you know, first and third sets he played incredible sets there. Especially in a bit blustier conditions, but, yeah, tonight he was able to keep it up pretty much the whole match.

Q. What do you think you have to do against Roger when he plays like that?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm not sure right at the moment. If I knew, I would still be out there.

Q. Is it a case that you still feel you're driven to bridge the gap with him? Is that what drives you now still?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, what drives me is to -- I still think I can become a better player. That's more the motivation. But obviously he's the, yeah, sort of the limit at the moment. He's the No. 1 player in the world.
Yeah, everyone says it wasn't an absolutely great year for him and he still won two Grand Slams and lost in two finals in five sets in the other two. Yeah, he's obviously the benchmark.

Q. Did you feel like you had your A game?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty clean out there. He hit his backhand -- normally it can go off slightly, and he hit it great tonight from start to finish.
Occasionally he gets some cheap points and he shanks a few balls here and there. Obviously the conditions were pretty nice out there tonight as well. There wasn't a lot of breeze, but he hit the ball extremely clean as well.
That was always tough because he was confident and moving extremely well. Felt like he was putting the ball on a dime every time.

Q. When you reflect back on this tournament, what will you think about?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, from my point of view I did everything right. I prepared exactly the way that I wanted to prepare for the Australian summer. Gave 100% every time again. I ran into the best player right at the moment I would say.

Q. The way you played the last few weeks, where does that put your mindset for the rest of the year?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, obviously I've been able to work my ranking back up. I feel good about that. Don't have a lot of points to defend for -- really through to Wimbledon, the quarters there.
Yeah, I feel comfortable I can do some damage. The way I hit the ball tonight, I still think I could have taken a lot of other guys still left in the draw. That's probably a little bit more frustrating.

Q. You had some different strapping on your knee. How is the body holding up generally after the first Grand Slam of the year?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's fine. I've played with knee strapping for a long time. About five, six months now. So, yeah, that's feeling as good as it's felt.

Q. Everything else okay?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I feel good.

End of FastScripts

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