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March 9, 2013

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/J. Isner
7‑6, 3‑6, 4‑6

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Always thin margins with someone like that.テつ Just talk about the match.
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, John obviously ‑‑ yeah, you get a few opportunities out there to break, and you have to stand up and take your chances when they come.
I felt like I had the more chances throughout the match.テつ You know, first set could have gone either way, and then dug deep early in that second set to get up a break.テつ That was a big momentum change then, to have that break up my sleeve.
Yeah, he was still dangerous, though, using his forehand a lot on my service games and trying to hit through the court.テつ I was able to hang tough there and get the vital break and go up 4‑3 in that final set.

Q.テつ How does a win like that feel to you?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Great.テつ Obviously, yeah, being a quality player and in tough conditions as well to return his serve.テつ Doesn't really surprise me that he made the final here last year.
You know, with new balls and bouncing around everywhere, second serve is just as tough as his first most of the time.テつ I really had to just hang in there and wait my turn and try and get as many balls back as possible.

Q.テつ Isner said a few moments ago that he was nervous in the match.

Q.テつ Yeah.テつ Do you feel that he's a player that if you stick with him, with the big game he's got, if you can, you know, get it back at him, that maybe there will be that mental break?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Not really.テつ Only because, yeah, he gets through so many cheap service games so then he can have a lash at your service games sort of at free will.
So a lot of the times for the, you know, the not‑so‑big guy out there, it's a lot tougher to keep your concentration.テつ He can probably have lapses in concentration while he's receiving, but, yeah, most of the time those big servers don't dip too much on their service games.

Q.テつ He very rarely breaks.テつ Why would that be?テつ Not producing enough from the back court?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ I thought he hit his forehand pretty well today; his backhand was definitely weaker.テつ I don't know if ‑‑obviously a lot of those big guys, Karlovic, they all don't break that often.
They're going to play a lot of tiebreaks out there, and obviously movement is such a big part of it, as well.テつ If you can get behind them and have them on the run as much as possible, it makes life tough for them.

Q.テつ What about his return?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ It's not bad.テつ Not bad.テつ You know, for a big guy, you know, he tries to be aggressive on it, but he probably needs to be just to try to get first hit in the point.
Like I said, when he's holding serve so comfortably for so much in the match, then he can have a lash at a few and hopefully makes two or three in one game and gets an error and you can get the break.

Q.テつ Could you talk a little bit about just the serves you have faced?テつ Obviously a lot of big serves these days with Ivo and Raonic.テつ Can you talk about those, and also how these big servers compete compared to someone like Pete?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, all three of those guys have got great serves.テつ Yeah, the angles, especially the two extremely big guys ‑ Isner and Karlovic ‑ can get out wide on both sides.テつ If they hit those well, it's impossible to get a racquet on it.
Yeah, their second serves are all tough, as well.テつ You know, that's the tough part.
Yeah, Sampras, he hit his spots extremely well, especially on big points.
Roger has been the same.テつ They're not the biggest servers, Roger and Sampras, but they hit their serves extremely well and their second serve is so reliable as well, especially under pressure.

Q.テつ Have Novak and Andy both improved their serves?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, well, absolutely.テつ That's one of the reasons why I think Novak ‑‑ I think when he started being more dominant his serve improved a lot and he got a lot more cheap points.テつ I think both those guys are getting cheap points off their serve.

Q.テつ Where does this rank in the last couple of years?テつ Big win, stadium, in front of an American crowd; how does it stack up?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, the last couple of years I haven't played that much, I guess.テつ Missed this tournament through surgery last year.テつ In the past I have always played pretty well here.テつ Felt pretty comfortable.
Yeah, it's nice to beat a big name.テつ Yeah, John's obviously a tough match for anyone to play, and especially coming off a good result here last year.

Q.テつ There is a lot of soul searching in Australia about tennis.テつ We might have a situation with no American men in the top 20 for the first time since the computer, so can you comment a little bit about that?テつ Is that something you should be worried about or not?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ The times have changed.テつ There is a lot more countries playing now, so you can't compare generations as much.テつ You know, back in the day when the rankings first started, you know, there was very few.テつ It's like playing the Davis Cup as well.テつ You know, to try and get in the World Group and keep your spot there is not an easy thing to do with just the amount of different countries playing.
Yeah, I don't know with the U.S. Obviously Australia we're trying to do as much as possible to get guys through.テつ We had four guys obviously win in the first rounds here, which is nice.テつ Doesn't happen every week for us.
But when you've had a rich tradition and the public expects success, yeah, then the tough thing‑‑ the pressure builds.

Q.テつ Does it feel different for you?テつ You played a Grand Slam final in NewYork against Sampras and won.テつ You have played of over a decade in America.テつ Do you feel different, the mood of American tennis playing in America now than it did when there were more top guys ten years ago?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ No.テつ The mood doesn't feel any different.テつ Obviously it's disappointing that you're losing tournaments in America, though.テつ That's disappointing, because I have always enjoyed playing here.
There is no doubt that that has to do with the public, you know, expecting guys like‑‑ you know, you had Connors and McEnroe, and then Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Chang, and obviously Roddick held it up for so many years after that.
So when you don't have those guys and people maybe are not, you know, watching other sports instead of tennis in America‑ and at the moment the top four or five guys are all European, as well‑ that's not the best thing.

Q.テつ Were you saying on TV because of your foot surgeries that you have had to adjust the way you run?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Everything had to change a little bit, yeah.

Q.テつ Can you talk about that a little bit?テつ Did you relearn something about movement?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ No, I just took time.テつ My whole mechanics are totally different in my foot, so it was just a matter of adjusting everything, really, and just get used to it as much as possible and then deal with it.

Q.テつ Part of tennis is just walking out on the court and knowing that you're going to perform in front of thousands and thousands of people. テつOf all the different big stadiums you walk out on, what gives you the biggest charge, which stadium when you just walk out?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Well, Aussie Open and Wimbledon, those two.

Q.テつ And the long walk at the Australian and Wimbledon, very low‑key without any announcements, just chair those two, then.
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, they're both amazing courts to walk out onto.テつ It's not something you think about a lot, though.テつ I have done it so many times.
It's not something I dwell on, but it's something that excites you, you know, walking out to play any match on those two courts.

Q.テつ How much does a win like this motivate you to continue on the road that you have been going on for the last a little bit?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ It's good just to know you're thereabouts.テつ I feel like I have been hitting the ball pretty well in practice.テつ Down in Australia I hit the ball well.
I drew a tough match in Tipsarevic first round there, and, yeah, it's just a matter of getting matches under my belt, as well.
And obviously for me the priority are the slams and Davis Cup.テつ I try and pride myself on playing well in those matches, and, you know, the rest of it I try and prepare as well as possible for those tournaments.

Q.テつ Can you put your commentator's hat on and tell us what you expect from Nadal tonight?テつ First match on hard court.
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ I think he'd be a bit anxious.テつ Yeah, it's obviously totally different moving than what he's been playing on clay.テつ I only saw points here and there, so I can't really comment on how he moved and everything on the clay swing.
There is no doubt when he lost Zeballos he wasn't moving anywhere near his best on the clay, but obviously to beat Ferrer a couple weeks later he must have been playing pretty well.
So he'd be a bit cautious tonight I'd think, but I think deep down he will be enjoying the challenge of getting back on the hard court and seeing how his body does respond.

Q.テつ What is it about this event that you perform so well at?テつ Does it seem like a decade ago that you won this title?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ No, probably doesn't seem like that long ago.テつ The years go pretty quick now.
I'm not sure.テつ I enjoy it.テつ It's a pretty relaxed feel, the whole thing.テつ Yeah, I can't really put my finger on it.テつ You like going back to places where you have played well obviously and you have a positive outlook on it.テつ That's probably the only common thing.

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