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January 4, 2014

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/K. Nishikori
5‑7, 6‑4, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Hasn't anyone told you you're supposed to be the old bloke?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I don't know.テつ I keep putting myself through it.テつ Must like punishment.
Yeah, it was tough conditions.テつ Really tough to play out there for both of us today.テつ It turned into a mental battle.
Throughout the second set there were times I could've easily gonna away.テつ He wasn't giving me any cheap points at all out there.テつ I had to fight through a lot of my service games.
Yeah, even late in the second set.テつ Had a lot of chances in the second set, so I could have got down on myself a bit.テつ To my credit I kept hanging in there and ended up getting a few errors out of him in the end of the second, which was nice.

Q.テつ Have you ever played in tougher or hotter conditions?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ I don't know.テつ I think when you just come off the court it feels like it's the worst you've played in.
Yeah, when I played my first Davis Cup tie in Boston it was bloody hot as well.テつ Probably a drier heat.テつ Today was humid and muggy in there.
Even when I warmed up.テつ I was sweating just walking out to have my warmup this morning out there on center court.テつ It was a really heavy humidity feel out there.

Q.テつ Do you think that worked to your advantage in the end, just that you're a bit more acclimatized to it than him perhaps?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ I don't know.テつ The end of the first set I didn't feel like it was working for me.テつ Could have gone either way.テつ I think we were both feeling it at different times throughout match.テつ End of the second set he was feeling it a little bit serving to stay in it.
I felt pretty fresh actually.テつ There was a little bit of breeze coming through throughout the end of the second and start of the third set; whereas through that first set there was really no breeze out there at all.

Q.テつ The crowd was enormous.テつ Terrific atmosphere out there.テつ Being at home in the end help you as well?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, absolutely.テつ It's a great center court to play on.テつ It's a great atmosphere out there.テつ Every one of my matches the last two years have been really, really good out there.
So, yeah, obviously a semifinal as well.テつ Having an Australian get through to the final, it's nice.

Q.テつ Roger is obviously up a set.テつ Talk about playing him again tomorrow in the final.
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, be good.テつ You want to play against the best players, and obviously Roger and I have a good history and a lot of tough matches in the past in slams and Davis Cups and everything.
So, yeah, he's been great obviously for this tournament and ticket sales and promoting tennis in Australia again.
Yeah, if it's him, I'm going to enjoy it.

Q. テつHow important has your performance this week been as you head into the Australian Open?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, it's important.テつ Obviously you come off a couple months not playing any matches, so just to get that self‑belief and match toughness back and, yeah, to beat quality players match after match.テつ The last three days I've had to do it back to back as well.テつ It's good.

Q.テつ Was it a surprise that you had fight like that you?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Not really.テつ I think the US Open I outlasted Juan Martin in the fifth set there.テつ Yeah, there's definitely been times I still feel like I can go the distance with a lot of the guys.
Hopefully I bounce back well tomorrow.

Q.テつ Is that a concern for you, the need to back up tomorrow?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I'll do all the right things and then hopefully I feel good.テつ Yeah, as you get older I'm sure it gets tougher.
Yeah, I'll do all the right things recovery‑wise and what I need to, and hopefully I'll be pretty sweet.

Q.テつ As far as your rivalry goes with Roger, there was a stretch where he got you a bunch matches in a row and you were able to break that in Halle.テつ When you have that kind of streak going, looking through the lens of Serena and Sharapova now, who beat her 14 straight times or something like that, when you do get the duck off, is it about more mental?テつ Is it a matchup thing?テつ How did you see that skid ending for you?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Well, I reckon nearly everyone had some kind of run against Roger those years.テつ He lost two or three matches for the year.テつ Apart from losing to go Rafa a couple times, he didn't lose too many matches.
Yeah, you look at Jarkko Nieminen, and it was 13 or 14 to nil.テつ Roger is obviously through that period where he dominated.テつ He was very tough for anyone to beat.
In Halle I got a little bit lucky, but I did play a really good three‑set match there.

Q.テつ If you had to give advice to Sharapova for how to finally break through, what would that be?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ There is no secret.テつ Obviously mentally it's tough if someone has always had the wood on you.テつ But you got to go out there and keep giving yourself an opportunity.
Sharapova is top 4 or 5, whatever she is in the world.テつ She's only going to play Serena in semis and finals of slams.テつ She's doing okay.

Q.テつ He was saying he hasn't played you in a final in Australia.テつ How big is that for you to have a chance to raise a trophy after beating him on home soil?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, we wouldn't have played too many times in Australia.テつ Only a couple in the Australian Open and obviously Davis Cup.
Yeah, it's obviously good.テつ It's always good to play Roger.テつ I prefer to play him in finals rather than round of 16 or quarters or third round of slams, so...

Q.テつ (Question regarding 2003 Davis Cup match.)
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, it has to be.テつ Yeah, in the conditions and over five sets and he was the reigning Wimbledon champion only a couple months before that as well.
But I beat him in the Masters Cup in the semifinals in 2002, which was a hell of a match as well.テつ 7‑5 in the third.テつ So probably couple of my bigger ones.

Q.テつ How fresh can you be tomorrow?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Hopefully close to 100%.

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