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January 16, 2011

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lleyton.

Q. Yesterday must have been a great thing for you, giving your confidence a good boost coming into the Aussie Open.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it was nice. I had a really good week at Kooyong. It was obviously a little bit interrupted with the rain delays and stuff around the place. But we got looked after extremely well.
Yeah, I felt really comfortable out there on the court, which is really good.

Q. Preparation-wise, does it set in you better stead than previous years?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know. I can only speak to this year. I feel like everything's gone to plan so far. Yeah, as I keep saying, you know, the last few days, I've done everything possible that I could have done so far. So it's a matter of just going out there and executing and hopefully playing well on Tuesday.

Q. You don't have any injury niggles at the moment?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No. Feeling good at the moment.

Q. What about David Nalbandian in the first round, how do you feel about playing him?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, as I said the other day leading up, it's going to be a tough match. It's going to be a tough first round. I'm looking forward to it. You're going to have to play well and I expect him to be hitting the ball pretty well after last week, as well.

Q. Is there any sort of a positive to playing a player like that that you know so well and you played before?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's obviously a tough draw. Normally you don't mind, yeah, easing into the tournament a little bit. But we're both going to have to be up for the match straightaway. If you're not, you're going to be out in the first round.
Yeah, there's plenty to play for.

Q. This afternoon's Rally for Relief, that doesn't alter your preparations at all ahead of Tuesday when you play your first match?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not at all. Yeah, it's going to be a bit of fun. Pat and I are sort of running the show out there a little bit. It's going to be different, but it's going to be a lot of fun.
Yeah, it's all for a great cause. Pat and I, what we've given for Australia in Davis Cup, we love doing things for our great country. This afternoon's no different.

Q. Have you been surprised, not just the Australian players like yourself and Sam, but so many of the top internationals have gotten behind, playing on yours and Pat's team this afternoon?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm not really surprised, but it's a great thing. Guys like Roger and Rafa do so much, not just for tennis, but are great ambassadors for our sport. They're great guys off the court as well with what they do with the busy schedules they have.
I'm not surprised what these guys have offered. It's fantastic. It can really help the day as well, which is great.

Q. What do you expect about the role of people in the match against Nalbandian?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's going to be no different to me playing anyone else in Australia. I always have a lot of great support here in Australia. Every time I play here at Melbourne Park, the support that I get is fantastic. It's not going to be any different playing David, if I get through, than playing my second-round opponent.

Q. As this stage of your career, do you come into this tournament, which you completely love, thinking it could be your last and really treating it as if it could be?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Not really 'cause right at the moment I don't think it's going to be the last. It's not something that I dwell on too much at all when I go out there.
Yeah, I enjoy walking through the corridors here at Melbourne Park, get excited every time I come here to not only play but also practice.
Yeah, as I said, the motivation is still there and the body is feeling as good as it has for a few years right at the moment, which is good.

Q. There's people writing that your best years are behind you. How do you feel? Do you feel you can still have your best performances in your future?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. Well, obviously it's hard to clip what I did in 2001, 2002, winning slams and Davis Cups, being ranked world No. 1. But, yeah, priorities and I guess goals change a little bit after you've been able to do that. A lot's sort of changed with how your body is as well. That's why my main priority is obviously with Davis Cup. We don't play a Davis Cup tie till later on in the year. But apart from that, the Grand Slams are my main priority.
Yeah, the ranking will take care of itself, as I've always said. My priority now is the four majors and preparing and trying to do as well as I can in those.

Q. What do you think you can achieve in the Grand Slams?
LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, have to wait and see. All I can do is go out there. As I said coming into this tournament, when you're unseeded, it's always a little bit hard with draws and whatever. But I still feel like I can go out there and give most guys a pretty good run.

End of FastScripts

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