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January 21, 2010

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/D. Young
7-6, 6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Great to see you have a straight-sets win. Playing someone you don't play that often, he probably surprised you a bit in the first set. What turned it around for you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Just tried to be a lot more solid, especially towards the end of the second set. I felt like I got out of the blocks well. He started serving a lot better and then, yeah, he mixed up his game very well.
He's very flashy with his forehand. He can generate pace from anywhere on the court. Yeah, when he's actually got time to run onto the ball, because he is so quick, he actually comes up with some pretty good shots.
So he was returning well, and I wasn't serving as well as I would have liked early on. My serve got better as the match went on, and that definitely put me in a better position to be a little bit more aggressive on his service games.

Q. When would you prefer to play on Saturday?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Doesn't worry me. At this stage I haven't thought about it. I'm gathering that it'll be Saturday night. I assume. I don't know. Whatever. It doesn't worry me, day or night.

Q. Will you request the early match on Saturday night?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Probably not. No. Whatever. I would be surprised if they -- I'm not sure why they're going some men and women different nights. I have no idea what the deal is with that.
I would assume at this stage they'd probably put us at 7:00. I'm not sure.

Q. Is that last one with Marcos two years ago still the most memorable of your career?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Absolutely. I think just the whole -- it was sort of epic in the locker room before we went on the court as well. We both warmed up and kept getting told we were gonna be the next match on.
Once the night session started, they were gonna be moving the women's. That all got canceled, and then we're sitting in a situation where the women ended up going three sets and we weren't gonna be playing that night.
It was just a weird situation for both of us to be in. Then to go five sets like it did, it just added to the drama.

Q. Tomic was pretty critical about the scheduling of his match last night and the fact that it went too late. Just wondering, as someone who has finished a match after 4:00 a.m. Does he have a case?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, as I said, I don't know why they're putting some mens matches first and some after the women's. I have no idea. We've all been prepared, I guess, if we do go five sets, nine times out of ten I've always been the second match after the women's.
There's only been a couple occasions in my career that I've played in the last couple of years that I've played a 7:00 or 7:30 match. You always know if you go five sets it's gonna be a long night. That's just how it is.

Q. Should he expect any sort of leniency? He said because he was young, it was hard for him that late. Is that just part of the learning experience?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I think it's part of learning. I don't know whether he requested night or day or what he did. If you get scheduled at night, yeah, that's what's gonna happen. You gotta be prepared for that to happen.

Q. Would you be surprised that a 17 year old would be complaining about playing a night match on Rod Laver?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. He seems like the kind of kid that would enjoy it. To play in a big atmosphere. I think he handles that pretty well. I think deep down he would have enjoyed playing a big match.

Q. Was today's match ideal for the Baghdatis confrontation?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, it's ideal in the fact that I got through in straight sets.

Q. But he ran around a lot.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. It's a big difference. One is left-handed and the other is right-handed. I'm gonna have to come to terms with that.
I played Marcos last week and I know what to expect. He's in good form and hitting the ball extremely clean. He's gonna be feeling confident after winning last week. Knocking off David Ferrer in five sets isn't easy either.

Q. Are you enjoying this growing rivalry with Baghdatis?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, we've only played three times. (Laughing.) It's not quite like the Nadal-Federer just yet. Yeah, for some reason some guys you play more at Grand Slams than you do on tour events. Marcos and I have been one of those matches, I guess.

Q. When you played with Marcos the other day, was he any different than the last time you played him?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really different, I would say. He's always played well in Australia. You look back to the year he made a good run and made the final here and surprised everyone. The year beat him and played well. This year in Sydney he played well as well.
Obviously last year was tough for him in patches, just because -- I don't know if he had surgery or not. But, yeah, he definitely had a couple injuries and that set him back quite a bit. He went back to the challengers, and you gotta take your hat off to that. He's a class player, and he's a lot better than a challenger player. For him to be able to do that is a great effort.

Q. His match went nearly four hours today. Do you see that as a good advantage for you?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, can't be bad that I got through in straight. Yeah, at the end of the day, I know that I've done the work. I know that come Saturday I'll be as fresh as I can be.
Won both my matches in straight sets so far so...
So, yeah, haven't put a foot wrong.

Q. How do you feel?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I feel fine.

Q. Were you surprised that Cilic was taken to five sets last night?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't see any of the match. It's hard to explain. Cilic is, yeah, a very good player. I think a little bit when he's expected to win he doesn't quite play as well as -- you know, when he had to play a guy like Murray and that at the US Open, Murray and Del Potro, he had very little pressure on him.
Yeah, still, for Bernard to go out there and take -- Cilic is a quality player. Absolutely.

Q. Do you think he's moving closer to Davis Cup contention?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, the comment I always said was, yeah, anyone ranked 300 in the world can't -- doesn't matter if it's Klein or Matosevic or whoever it is, they can't expect to be playing Davis Cup. It's not gonna be their call. It's gonna be Fitzy and Woodbridge's call and the selectors to who they put in.
You have no right to say that you'll be playing Davis Cup in that situation. So, yeah, he's obviously around the mark. Personally, I feel it was a pretty good tournament for the Australians in the fact that Luczak, I saw a little bit of his match against Nadal, and he hit the ball as well as he's ever played, which gave me great confidence.
And then I saw a little bit of Carsten Ball the other day against Verdasco as well. In terms of Davis Cup, I'm a little happier with the players coming through.

Q. Did you watch any of Marcos' match today?
LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit on the TV. Not enough.

Q. What are hoping for in terms of fan support against Baghdatis?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, it's Australia, so I look forward to a lot of support.

Q. Do you think it'll be quite even out there? I mean, he's got quite a big fan club here.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I always get support on center court. Don't think it'll be any different.

Q. Was it good to beat someone a lot younger than you today and someone that scrambles around and has big tickets around the world?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it wasn't something I thought about his age going into the match. It was more, yeah, it was good that I played him in Washington a few months ago towards the end of last year.
Yeah, he plays a little bit different and he's flashy and rides a bit of a wave for a few games, and then throws in a couple of suck games out of nowhere. So it's good to know where he's at. He's a lot better playing than his ranking is right at the moment.
He obviously struggled with the expectation of being the next great hope for America for a while. He's been 70 odd in the world, and won't be long before he's back there?

Q. Do you think the powers that be in Australia can learn from how the Americans treated Donald Young early in his career giving him so many wild cards, and that possibly put his career back a year or two?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes and no. You gotta have other people to give 'em to, and maybe they didn't have other people to give 'em to. That's why he got 'em. Yeah, maybe he was performing -- yeah, he obviously struggled and got some rough draws there, too.
Some of guys I saw him play, Henman and there was a few other guys that he got a wildcard in Masters Series events, and even US Open I think James Blake. There was a few guys that he's had tough draws against.
Yeah, everyone is a little bit different, I think.

Q. Do you feel your game suits Marcos'?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think I can -- I think there are certain areas I can mix up pretty well against him. He's obviously a great ball-striker, very clean off both sides of. Yeah, when she's serving well his whole game sort of comes together a bit more. Obviously I'm gonna have to serve well against him. Yeah, that's gonna be a big key.

Q. What do you do to get psyched up before matches? Are you still watching Rocky movies, or is there a new form of inspiration?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not watching movies anymore. For me, it's more I just like hanging around with my team and obviously in the locker room and, yeah, going through the warm up and the preparation that I need to be ready to go out there. I listen to a bit of music, and that's about it.

Q. Kim Clijsters is called Aussie Kim since her relationship with you. What do you think about her comeback?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, her comeback is unbelievable. Yeah, it's not easy to take any time off tennis these days. I just know from hip surgery to come back and then try and, yeah, to pick up where you left off isn't easy. So, yeah, for her to come back and third tournament back win a Grand Slams is incredible.
Yeah, in terms of I think Kim and Justine, yeah, they're still a class above 95% of the women players out there anyway. It was never gonna take those two long to come back and get competitive at the big tournaments.

Q. What music do you listen to before a match?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Whatever. Always changes.

End of FastScripts

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