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U.S. OPEN


August 30, 2013


Lleyton Hewitt


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

L. HEWITT/J. Del Potro
6‑4, 5‑7, 3‑6, 7‑6, 6‑1


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Your best win since?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I don't know.テつ Been a while.テつ Yeah, it was unbelievable atmosphere.テつ I just kept fighting and putting it out there.テつ You know, I kept coming at him the whole night.テつ Felt like I was seeing the ball well.テつ Felt like I played a good game plan for most of the night as well.
Yeah, through the fourth set I felt like even though I was down on the scoreboard two sets to one, I felt like I was getting in more of his service games, holding a little bit more comfortable.テつ Possibly he was getting that half a step slower through that fourth set.
Was good to get the break, but he played a great game to break me back.

Q.テつ That is such a big mental hole.テつ How did you get through?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, it was obviously frustrating.テつ He would have known in the back of his mind, yeah, if he went down two sets to love against me it was going to be an awfully long way back against me and he was going to have to do it the hard way.テつ I was frustrated not closing it out then.
For the first set and a half he was struggling a little bit with the conditions out there.テつ The wind was going all over the shop.テつ I couldn't tell which way it was going most of the time.
Then there was a patch through the end of the second, third set that he started hitting the ball a lot bigger, a lot cleaner from the baseline.テつ I was sort of on the defensive the whole time.
Through the fourth set I was really just trying to take care of my service games and wait for any small opportunity I could get.

Q.テつ Could you talk about the fourth‑set tiebreak.
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ The fourth set breaker I played really well.テつ Got off to a good start.テつ Played a great first point.テつ Got lucky with a double‑fault from him the second point, which was crucial to get up a mini break against him.
But I didn't put a foot wrong in the tiebreak.テつ Obviously playing a tiebreak to stay in the tournament, it's always a tough position to be in.テつ You never want to get down in that breaker.テつ It was good to get the lead.
Then the fifth set, the fourth game was crucial.テつ I was able to save ‑‑ after I'd just broken, I was able to save a couple of breakpoints and fought extremely hard there and got out of that game.
That was a massive turning point.

Q.テつ What kind of emotions does it bring back at the end?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ It's an amazing feeling.テつ For me, just going back in the locker room afterwards I sort of had to pinch myself.テつ Yeah, keep going back to it, but a year and a half ago I got told I would probably wouldn't play again with the surgery I had.
For me, I love being out in that atmosphere, sucking up every second of it.

Q.テつ Aside from that creaky old body of yours, how good do you feel in your mind when you get to a fifth set knowing what you've done before?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah physically I feel fine out there.テつ If I can take guys to five sets, I know it's slightly in my favor sometimes, I think.テつ Especially against some of these bigger, stronger guys who can go out there and try and hit me off the court in three straight sets.
I felt comfortable going into the fifth.テつ And, you know, the way my body's been, I've been able to do a lot more training and a lot of other stuff, which I couldn't do a couple years ago because I was in too much pain.

Q.テつ What do you do when you feel anger when you're playing a match?テつ Do you like to get it out or try not to let it show?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ A bit of both.テつ It's very hard to keep it in the whole time.テつ Sometimes it's better to let it out a little bit straightaway and move on to the next point and focus on, yeah, forward thinking, the next point.

Q.テつ You looked so focused.テつ Every time you hit a good shot, celebrating quietly to yourself, not loudly.テつ Was that a tactic not to fire Del Potro up?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah.テつ He's a pretty quiet guy anyway.テつ I was more trying to stay in my zone out there.テつ Obviously over five sets there was going to be a lot of ups and downs and moment swings in the match.
Yeah, I sort of tried to stay in the moment as much as possible and not get too far ahead of myself.テつ That was really important once I got up that early break in the fifth set.

Q.テつ Is recovery a big issue now?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, tonight physically I probably felt better than I did a couple of nights ago in my first‑round match.テつ Yeah, I'm sure I'll be a bit stiff tomorrow.
We're going to do anything in our power.テつ We'll be doing all the right things.

Q.テつ Donskoy.テつ What do you make of what you've seen of him?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, we practiced the day before my first‑round match.テつ Yeah, his coach just came up and asked.テつ I didn't really know the guy at all.テつ It was only because we both had Wednesday starts that we hit together.
Yeah, he's a typical sort of Russian/Czech kind of player.テつ Good double‑handed backhand.テつ Very good across the baseline with both his groundstrokes.テつ Hits the ball pretty flat.テつ He's kind of a Davydenko kind of player.
He's not going to be easy by no means.テつ I think he beat Youzhny at the Aussie Open this year and had some decent wins.
I'll enjoy the win tonight, recovery tomorrow, and start focusing on that.

Q.テつ How different will it be going from playing Del Potro on Arthur Ashe tonight to playing Donskoy?テつ I don't know where you'll be playing, but...
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, obviously it's different, you know, not getting up for probably a featured night match on center court.
But, yeah, for me, it's still staying in the moment and getting another opportunity to try to make the fourth round here.
That's all I'll be looking at.テつ I'll be doing absolutely everything in my power to prepare as well as possible.

Q.テつ When the schedule came out and you saw it was on Ashe, did that give you a bit of a jolt?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I was happy.テつ I was happy.テつ Yeah, as I said, you know, I don't know how many times I'm going to play here in the future.テつ You never know if you're going to get an opportunity to play out there again.
I didn't take it for granted out there tonight.

Q.テつ When you go into slams these days, are you coming in saying, I'm going to win the tournament; I have a shot and I believe I can?テつ Or are you taking it one match at a time, let's see how we do, and rolling with it?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I'm taking it one match at a time.テつ Even when I was No.1 in the world I was taking it one match at a time.テつ I never was a player to look too far ahead, the way draws can pan out and stuff.
Yeah, I think the most important thing in slams is trying to find a way through the first week and then focus on starting fresh the second week if you can.テつ That's still the case nowadays.

Q.テつ Dテδゥjテδ vu, last Aussie, all of that.テつ Does it give you a buzz to be carrying the flag?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Not something I focus on.テつ Yeah, obviously Bernie, would have been nice if he won yesterday.テつ He had a winnable section I think for him to do some damage here.
Doesn't worry me in terms of added pressure or whatever.テつ I don't care.

Q.テつ Tell us a bit more about the injuries, how hard that whole stage was.
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ The foot surgery, as I said before, must have seen seven, eight different surgeons worldwide.テつ At least six of them told me to retire if you have it done.テつ I'm very thankful that I found the guy that I believed in.テつ We went in there and were optimistic about it.
But, yeah, we thought I might be able to play doubles, but we weren't 100% whether I would be able to come back and play singles ‑ even doing all the hard work for rehab and stuff like that.
In the back of your mind, you still got question marks whether it's going to be good enough to go out and compete on the center stage against top players again.
When I first came back for the French Open and Wimbledon, I wasn't in a good place in terms of the foot.テつ I was still in a bit of pain after the surgery.テつ The last year has been pretty good.

Q.テつ Trying to hit the ball out of Arthur Ashe.テつ Did anyone manage to?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Not even close.テつ They talk a big game, but a couple much coaches didn't do anything.テつ I don't know if anyone's ever done it here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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