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January 5, 2014

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/R. Federer
6‑1, 4‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Congratulations.

Q.テつ How much confidence does a performance and victory like this give you going into the Aussie Open?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, a lot.テつ Obviously today I wasn't focused on the Australian Open.テつ It was more about today.テつ Playing the best players in the world and finals of tournaments, always it's exciting.テつ That's why you still play the game.
For me, it was motivation enough just to try to get the win out there and obviously win another title.テつ It's been a couple years.テつ So I was just ready for the challenge today.テつ Played great obviously at the start, really well.テつ Took Roger little bit of time to get into the match.
Then I just had to fight hard at the start of the third set.

Q.テつ Did it surprise you a little bit how he started?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ A little bit.テつ I'm not sure if he was totally set sort of on his game plan and what he was trying to do at the time.テつ I was rushing him a little bit as well.
For the first set I was seeing the ball like a football.テつ Didn't really matter where he served, I was on it.テつ I felt great out there.
As the match went on, you know, I think from yesterday I started getting a little more sluggish as the match went on just after obviously backing up from yesterday.
Roger obviously picked up his game and cut out a lot more of those cheap errors, and then he started serving a lot better towards the end of the second set, and especially the start of the third set.

Q.テつ When he's misfiring like that, what do you do to try to keep him misfiring, I guess?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I didn't want to go back into my shell too much, though, because I came out and I was pretty aggressive right from the start.テつ Even on his first serve, second serves, I was having a crack at everything.
Even when he was up and he wasn't making that many balls out there, I didn't want to give him an opportunity to play into form either.
It was a Catch 22 for me.テつ I could go after it a bit and also make a few errors.テつ If I just try and rally and keep the ball in play, he's going to step around and sooner or later he's going to use that lethal forehand.
It was a tough situation to be in because I did win the first set so comfortably.

Q.テつ What does this title do for you, beating Roger Federer?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, the pleasing thing is how I backed up.テつ Obviously had my first match on Tuesday night, and then after that had one day off and after that had to play four matches in a row since then.
At my age and then to come through and do that, the last two wins have been big, quality players as well.

Q.テつ Do you get any sort of benefit from the practice sessions with him?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Not really.テつ We've practiced a lot over the last probably two years now, year and a half, two years.テつ We've practiced on grass, US Open, Shanghai, a lot of different places, Aussie Open.
So, yeah, a little bit we both know what we're going to get from each other for the main part.テつ It's only little things here and there.テつ Once you're on the practice court you're working on small things as well.テつ It's not exactly how you're going to play on the match court.

Q.テつ After the last few years, how much does coming back and winning a title sort of mean to you?テつ You seemed pretty emotional talking about it after the match.
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, means a lot with the caliber of players here as well in this tournament.テつ Look at the start of the week.テつ It's not an easy tournament to win.テつ I wasn't one of the top four seeds, so I had to win all five matches to get through.テつ Roger only had to play four to win it here.
There are pleasing parts and massive positives to take out of it.

Q.テつ What would be a good Australian Open for you?テつ How do you set the bar?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ A lot depends on draws and how I play.テつ I'm not looking at what round or whatever.テつ I go out there an I'll compete exactly the same as I've competed here this week.
If I play like I did this week, then I have a chance of doing some damage against serious players.

Q.テつ The win today also, I'm pretty certain, will lift you above Bernie.テつ How much does the Aussie No. 1 ranking mean to you?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Not that much.テつ It's not something I've thought about at all.テつ Yeah, the only thing that it does any difference is who we may have to play in Davis Cup tie, because the No. 1 plays the No. 2 on day one.テつ For me that's the only difference.

Q.テつ What was more satisfying:テつ Winning a title in Australia at 16 or 32?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Good question.テつ I don't know.テつ Yeah, I don't know.テつ Obviously that's where it all started for me.テつ I was 16.テつ I was in my hometown.テつ Yeah, it's hard to beat that.
But then winning here at a new tournament and it's only the second time I've been up here as well.テつ I've won nearly every tournament there is to win in Australia.
Yeah, to beat possibly the greatest player in the final means a lot.テつ So it's very hard to split 'em.

Q.テつ How satisfying is it at this stage of your career to still play matches against Del Potro, Wawrinka, and now Federer and beat them?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I think the most pleasing thing is what I've had to come through and the tough times in terms of surgery.テつ Before the last surgery I made no secret.テつ There was no guarantees I would be able to play again at all.
There were still times when I came back from that surgery and played that Wimbledon straight after it and I was still doubting whether I was ever going to be pain‑free again.テつ For me that's the most pleasing thing.
I look to my bench and the guys on my team, and they know exactly what we've all been through with it.テつ That's the most pleasing thing.

Q.テつ How would you rate Roger's chances in Melbourne?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I think most of his other matches he looked pretty good I thought this week.テつ Yesterday I only saw a little bit.テつ There was a small patch where Chardy was able to get on top for a little period there.
For the most part this week I would say Roger's serve, he's hitting his spots pretty well.テつ That's important for him.テつ Yeah, he's always going to be very tough to beat, especially in Melbourne over five sets as well.
At the moment, it's really only those top three guys that are sort of ahead of him, I guess, in the chances to win it.

Q.テつ What if you come up against one of those top three now that you've beat Roger?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, still going to be as tough as ever.テつ Just gives my a lot more confidence going out there believing in how well I'm hitting the ball at the moment and that I can matchup with the best guys.
Obviously it's a different stage, winning three out of five against those guys.テつ That's why I still play the game.

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