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January 15, 2014

Lleyton Hewitt

Patrick Rafter


6‑4, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ How did it feel to be back out there together?
PAT RAFTER:テつ Listen, it's always great fun being back out there with Lleyton.テつ Having a player like him, you know you're going to get a few games.テつ Outside of that, I was a little worried how it was going to go.
No, so when we spoke about it, we sort of joked about it, in the last Davis Cup tie in Poland, when I made a few more returns, he thought he might go okay.テつ Maybe have a bit of fun at the Aussie Open.テつ I don't think it will happen again, but it was good fun while it lasted.

Q.テつ Did you go better than you thought?
PAT RAFTER:テつ I served better than I thought I would.テつ I volleyed okay.テつ Gee, I wish I returned a bit better than that.テつ And my second shot was just forget it, it was horrible.テつ It was actually laughable.テつ At a certain stage, I was just laughing.

Q.テつ What did you think of Pat's form?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ As he said, he served very well.テつ After so many shoulder problems and surgeries, sometimes that's the toughest thing.
That was obviously his strength today.テつ Sort of kept us in it today, holding his tight service games.
Those guys played well, though.テつ They served well to both of us.テつ He played well.テつ A bit of fun.テつ It was a good crowd atmosphere out there.テつ It was good for the tournament, I think.

Q.テつ Pat, how was it to hear the fans cheering?
PAT RAFTER:テつ It was good.テつ Yeah, it was nice.テつ But those days are sort of over, too.テつ Lleyton's the one there.テつ It's sort of a strange one.テつ I'm going out with someone who's an Aussie icon, as well.テつ He's so big in the game.テつ I'd like to think that it was for both of us and we both enjoyed that atmosphere.テつ It was fun.テつ I think we both enjoyed it, yeah.
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, it was good.
PAT RAFTER:テつ I'm not even asking him.テつ It was good for me.テつ It's fine.
It's sort of embarrassing to him a bit, too.

Q.テつ I notice Goran was behind your game.
PAT RAFTER:テつ I was waiting for him to heckle me but he didn't.
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ I think afterwards he heckled you.
PAT RAFTER:テつ He gave it to me afterwards.テつ He couldn't believe how bad my return was.

Q.テつ What did he say?
PAT RAFTER:テつ He said it was F‑ing bad, not just bad,テつ it was really bad.テつ I said, Yeah.テつ He said, You served okay, so‑‑ I don't know how he talks.テつ He's Croatian.
It was just fun.テつ Goran and I have been hanging out.テつ We played a fair few tournaments with each other in Europe.テつ We got to spend a fair amount of time with each other.テつ He takes the piss out of me and he thinks it's funny.

Q.テつ Australia has a tough Davis Cup tie coming up against France.テつ Could be without Tomic now.テつ He's injured.テつ Comment on that.
PAT RAFTER:テつ Yeah, no, I heard about that.テつ I've been talking to Bernie and the doctors, as well.
We'll be looking to make a call on that tomorrow.

Q.テつ Who would be the most likely replacement?
PAT RAFTER:テつ I don't know yet.テつ We need to sit down as a team.テつ We have a few options, but nothing we really want to talk about just yet.テつ We're keeping it pretty close to ourselves within our camp.
But if Bernie thinks he's gone for a couple of weeks and the doctors think that, we can't risk taking him.

Q. テつHow about your preparation for this doubles match?テつ Did you practice a lot before the match?
PAT RAFTER:テつ I probably should have practiced a bit more.テつ I just don't return.テつ I knew that was going to be the worst part of my game and it was.

Q.テつ The last couple of weeks you made a lot of practice sessions?
PAT RAFTER:テつ Yeah, but we've just been working with other guys.テつ I haven't worked on any returns, as you could see.
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Feeding balls to other Davis Cup players.
PAT RAFTER:テつ We work with the other guys on their games.テつ That's been the format over the last few weeks.テつ It certainly wasn't getting someone on the court serving to me so I could work on returns in my doubles game (laughter).テつ Probably should have.

Q.テつ Lleyton, how was it for you to play a match where there was so much focus on your partner?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ No, it was just fun.テつ As I said coming into it, it's not always about getting the result.テつ As you could see, the buildup, the media and press and public and everything once we got announced in the draw, I think it was just good for the tournament, Australian tennis.
Yeah, as I've always said, Pat helped me out when I first came into the Davis Cup team as a 15, 16‑year‑old.テつ He took me under his wing, helped me out. テつWe obviously played some massive Davis Cup matches together as well.テつ We got a pretty good friendship.
Yeah, it's just nice to be out there.テつ We still enjoy it, have a bit of a laugh.

Q.テつ Pat, Kokkinakis and Kyrgios, what do you make of them?
PAT RAFTER:テつ I think we all collectively as the Australian development squad and Davis Cup team just think these two guys are part of our future, a big part of the tennis future in Australia.
I want the media to know they're a few years off.テつ They're going to have some good results, but it's going to take a while for their bodies to develop and strengthen and probably understand the game more as time goes along.テつ But they are super talents.テつ It's great to see them having a couple of wins here.

Q.テつ Do you think Australia has locked a real solid doubles pair in the Davis Cup?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, well, I think in the past, obviously me and Gooch are undefeated in Davis Cup doubles.テつ Nearly beaten Federer/Wawrinka, quality teams as well.
Gooch has only lost one match ever in Davis Cup.テつ So he's sort of our go‑to guy in the doubles.テつ Obviously a lot depends on me physically.テつ Pat, me, Rochey, Josh Eagle, sort of make a call after day one if I'm going to team up with Gooch in the doubles or another option is better and saving me for the singles.
There's opportunities.テつ We have a lot of individual good doubles players.テつ Right now I think Gooch and I team up the best out of anyone.

Q.テつ What do you make of the last 24 hours for Bernie?テつ Do you feel for him?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, tough situation.テつ I didn't see any of the match whatsoever.テつ I was in here talking when they started, so...
Yeah, I only saw him before the match.テつ He looked pretty focused to go out and play in the locker room.
I have no doubt he had a bit of a tightness, though, in that particular spot before he went out and played last night.テつ Whether he jagged that a little more just in that first game ‑‑ yeah, it's a tough situation to be in.テつ He's a young guy, as well.テつ You have Nadal out there pushing you side to side.テつ It's really tough.
So, you know, obviously he would have liked to have finished the match.テつ I have no doubt about that.

Q.テつ Pat, your thoughts on that?
PAT RAFTER:テつ I thought Lleyton said it beautifully.
There's not really much to report on, you know.テつ As you said, he was tight and sore before he walked out.テつ He got tighter and tighter.テつ Didn't know what the end result was going to be.
No one knows the pain he's going through except Bernard.テつ It's very hard for us to judge and make a call on that.テつ Maybe he could have done a lot of damage to it, so...

Q.テつ How are you going to recover from the match?テつ Ice baths?
PAT RAFTER:テつ You talking to me?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ We both can now.テつ (Laughter).
PAT RAFTER:テつ Yeah.テつ Davis Cup preparation.テつ A few days of boys in camp now.テつ I drank a couple liters of water, so I'm hoping I don't cramp.テつ I was thinking about that on the court, too, If I cramp, this is going to be bad.

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