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BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL


December 31, 2012


Lleyton Hewitt


BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Feel like a while since you played?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, a little while.テつ Not too long though.テつ Coming in I had, yeah, not as long as probably other years coming into the Aussie because this was the first time I played a couple indoor tournaments towards the end of the year in Europe.
Yeah, feel like I've had a really good off‑season this year on the practice court and more so in the gym and doing off‑court work.

Q.テつ How long since the body has felt as good as it does right now?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Don't know.テつ Few years.

Q.テつ For 2013, what are your aspirations?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ I don't know.テつ You know, for me, the priority is obviously the Grand Slams.テつ The Australian Open and Wimbledon are my two main priorities.テつ That's where I want to play my best tennis.テつ I think I've got my chance of playing my best tennis over five sets in those two majors with a little bit of luck with the draw as well.
Then obviously Davis Cup.テつ So I will work the rest of my schedule around those events.テつ Right at the moment I haven't thought too much past Melbourne and doing everything right for there.

Q.テつ It's your first time here in Brisbane.テつ Is it nice in this stage of your career to have first times like this?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, not too many, so, yeah, it's obviously nice.テつ This tournament used to be in my hometown of Adelaide so I always played there.テつ Then I've played a lot in Perth in the Hopman Cup as well.
I knew the arena and the place anyway from Davis Cup ties.テつ Played here once on clay a couple years ago and then was here earlier this year for the Davis Cup.テつ Was helping the boys out on court.
So it's a great arena.テつ It's going to be nice to play there tomorrow nice.

Q.テつ Stepanek of is a tough competitor.テつ How are you preparing?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, it's going to be a tough match.テつ Always played pretty well against him, and then lost to him a couple months ago in Shanghai.テつ He played really well.
Yeah, he's a tough competitor.テつ He gives 100% every time he's on the court.テつ He's got an awkward game style to a lot of other guys out there.テつ I probably wasn't 100% in Shanghai, so hopefully tomorrow night will be different.

Q.テつ Marinko Matosevic has obviously had his best year.テつ How high do you see him potentially going?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ It's hard to say.テつ Obviously he's got his points sort of scattered all over the shop a little bit.テつ He had some of his biggest highs last year and some of his lowest losses as well in the challengers in the early part of the year.
He's got a big opportunity now I think in the next couple months before he has to defend his final in Delray Beach to really make a stamp on it.
In terms of points, I don't know exactly.

Q.テつ Is he potentially a top 30 guy?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, he could get top 30, I think.テつ A lot of guys sneak in there and bounce out of there all the time.テつ He obviously hits the ball well enough.テつ His ball‑striking isn't his problem.テつ You know, there are a couple of things.テつ He's got to work on his serve.テつ If he can hold more of his service games, he's a really good returner of serve, so he is going to get the opportunities to break.
Yeah, I've hit with him a few times up here.テつ He's hitting the ball clean enough.テつ Just got to structure his points a little bit better.

Q.テつ Do you see a significance mental improvement in him?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Absolutely.テつ Yeah, I think he's moving well.テつ His fitness levels are better.テつ All‑round I think he's a lot better player than 12 months ago.
A lot is going to come down to self‑belief as well taking that next step.

Q.テつ Seems that every year the young player become more powerful and taller.テつ Do you think that it's even more complicated for you to compete with these players?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ There is probably more powerful players out there these days than ten, fifteen years ago but, yeah, all these guys are pretty talented, I guess.
A lot of the bigger guys these days move a lot better than they used to.テつ I think that is probably their biggest strength.テつ They don't just have a serve.テつ They can obviously move and make a lot more balls from the back of the court.
Even Karlovic, Isner, these bigger guys, Kevin Anderson.テつ So that probably makes it a little bit tougher.

Q.テつ Do you think it would be possible for a shot player to be No. 1 today?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Well, Djokovic isn't the biggest guy and he handles everyone pretty easily.テつ Federer is certainly not the biggest guy or the strongest guy out there, and, you know, he doesn't lose to Isner or Karlovic too often, you know.
Yeah, then guys like Tsonga who is so powerful and explosive.テつ So there is a lot different players out there, but, yeah, I still think a good ball‑striker and if you got good hands you still can be very competitive.

Q.テつ What's your take on Rafa's withdrawal?テつ Do you fear for his future, that his knees aren't quite right?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Well, from what I read it wasn't his knee that he pulled out, so I don't know.

Q.テつ Well there is a suspicion that it might be.
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Okay.テつ Well, I don't know.テつ Unless you know something I don't.テつ I'm just going on he's got a virus, whatever.テつ If that's the case, then, yeah, that's unlucky, obviously.
Yeah, everyone wants to see him back playing.テつ He's one of my favorite players to watch.テつ It's disappointing he's not going to be at the Aussie, especially after I was fortunate enough to commentate the final last year.テつ That was one of the greatest matches I've seen.

Q.テつ You've been on tour since you were a teenager.テつ What has kept you motivated for all those years?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Not sure.テつ I love competing, obviously.テつ You're retired for a long time I guess as well.テつ I've been able to freshen up though the last few years in terms of there has been four or five months at a time where I've had surgeries and had to recover.
Obviously just mentally I've been able to be a lot fresher and not burnt out as much.テつ For me it's all about scheduling and not playing too many tournaments and obviously trying to play well where I want to play well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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