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January 12, 2014

Lleyton Hewitt


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ How are you feeling going into round one?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I feel pretty good, as good as I could have hoped for.テつ Yeah, this week has been good.テつ Obviously relaxing for me, but still being able to get the hit‑outs that I want.テつ Spent quite a bit of time on center court, so it's been good.

Q.テつ Big news with you and Pat in the doubles.テつ What's the story there?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ I don't know.テつ I think he still thinks he's got it in him, so...テつ Hope I don't have to carry him too much (smiling).
I actually asked him a little while ago.テつ Yeah, he still hits a lot at the Davis Cup ties, works us out a bit.テつ Yeah, it's just a bit of fun.テつ It will be nice on my off days, hopefully I'm still in the singles, on my off days to go out and play dubs with Pat.
He's hitting the ball well enough.テつ Beat Ivanisevic and Henman and those guys over in the seniors tour.テつ Just going to be a bit of fun for both of us.

Q.テつ Is there a more serious side to it or just a bit of fun?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Not really.テつ Just a bit of fun.

Q.テつ Is this something you have always wanted to do?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Not really.テつ Not something I really thought about.
No, it's good fun for both of us obviously.テつ Yeah, I obviously looked up to Pat a hell of a lot growing up.テつ He really helped me out.テつ It's great that he's Davis Cup captain for me now, as well.テつ Most likely I'll finish my career with him as Davis Cup captain, which is fantastic for me as well.
While we're still able to move around the court together, it's nice we can go out there and play in a Grand Slam.

Q.テつ Any nerves?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Sure I'll be a little bit nervous.テつ He's been doing a lot of hitting.テつ I've been concentrating more on my singles, so I have to get ready for doubles as well.テつ It will be good.

Q.テつ If it does go well, any chance of you playing in the Davis Cup?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ I doubt it.テつ We won't have anybody to sit on the side of the court.テつ We can't do that.

Q.テつ Can you compare form and fitness as to how you feel coming into this Australian Open compared to the last couple years?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Obviously the form this year, I haven't lost a match, hitting the ball well, done all the right things.テつ Had quality wins as well, especially the semi and final in Brisbane.テつ That gives me a lot of confidence moving forward.
Last year I felt like my ball striking was good coming out of Kooyong with the three matches there as well.
A lot is going to depend on Tuesday, how you go out there and play over the five sets.テつ Last year's draw wasn't easy.テつ This year's isn't going to be easy either.テつ You have to go out there, play your game, and hopefully I'll be ready.

Q.テつ The forecast for Tuesday is 41 degrees.テつ How do you feel about that?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, it's going to be tough for everyone, whoever has to play in the heat of the day.テつ Doesn't really worry me.テつ I've obviously played in really extreme heat on the Saturday and Sunday in Brisbane.テつ The semi and final, had to bounce back two days in a row in tough three‑setters in both matches.テつ That was good preparation.
It's going to be a dryer heat here.テつ Not as humid as up in Brisbane.テつ You still have to do all the right precautions as well going into the match.

Q.テつ How do you see Nadal and Tomic?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ It's obviously frustrating for Bernie having to play against Rafa.テつ The biggest thing is to get that out of his mind and not focus, that it's just a first‑round match.テつ He does get up for the big matches, playing the big names.テつ I have no doubt he's going to play a good match.
Yeah, it's going to be tough for him, though, to go with Rafa for five sets.テつ That's the tough thing.テつ It turns into a physical battle.テつ That's what Rafa does to everyone out there.テつ You know, the kind of pain and stuff that Novak had to go through to win a few years ago on center court, that's what it takes.テつ That's why it's so hard to beat Rafa.
Yeah, it's going to be a big ask obviously.テつ I can definitely see the first couple of sets with Bernie, he'll get his chances.

Q.テつ How do you see your match against Seppi?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ He's a tough competitor.テつ He plays well from the baseline, doesn't miss a lot of balls out there.テつ There's going to be a lot of long, grueling rallies.テつ I've just got to play my game, though, and execute the plan that obviously myself, Looch and Rochey will come up with.
Yeah, my ball striking at the moment is as good as it's been in a long time.テつ I feel confident with what I'm doing down my end.テつ I just got to go out there and execute it.

Q.テつ You haven't lost a game.テつ Seppi hasn't won a game.
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ But he made Round of 16 here last year and beat quality players and lasted five‑set matches as well.テつ I know he beat Istomin.テつ He can last the five sets.
Yeah, in the back of his mind he's going to be happy to be coming back here.テつ Then again, he probably didn't want to play me in the first round.テつ We'll just see what happens.

Q.テつ Rochey is not upset that you didn't ask him to play doubles?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ No.テつ He would have gone all right.テつ Newk is probably more (indiscernible).

Q.テつ Most of the fans are really cheering for you.テつ In your future, what are you hoping to achieve?テつ What are you hoping to fight for?テつ What is your dream?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ As I said, obviously Grand Slams and Davis Cup is the pinnacle still, means a lot to me.テつ The goal last year was to try and get the boys back in the Davis Cup World Group.テつ We were able to do that on the back of some of my efforts, and obviously Bernie played extremely well there, as well.
Yeah, that was a massive goal.テつ We've given ourselves an opportunity at least to be in it.テつ That's still part of it, trying to help the Davis Cup boys out.
We have a pretty young list now of guys coming up.テつ They are improving.テつ Hopefully in the next couple years they can move on that and get in like a few more guys in the top 50, top 70 in the world.
Personally, the Australian Open and Wimbledon are probably my two biggest events that I try to prepare as well as possible for.テつ I just pick and choose my tournaments where I want to play.

Q.テつ How exciting is it for you to see the young Aussies all making their debuts?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ It's great to see those young guys.テつ Nick obviously had a big win in the French Open as well when he got that late call up really, that wild card there, and he took advantage of it, which is great to see.
Yeah, it's good for those guys because there's not a lot of pressure on them either at the moment to go out there and they can play against these guys.テつ It's a good time of the year for them.
Hopefully they can build on it.テつ If they don't, they can at least learn and use the experience moving forward.テつ But Jordan Thompson has obviously stepped it up the last couple months, as well.

Q.テつ 18 straight Australian Opens.テつ Can you quite believe that?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Not really.テつ When I stop playing, it's something I'll be pretty proud of, wherever it stops, whatever number.テつ 18 in a row, and in singles main draw as well.テつ I wouldn't have dreamt of that as my first one in '97 as a 15‑year‑old, that's for sure.テつ I didn't think I'd be playing anywhere near 30.
To still be going just before my 33rd birthday is something I'm happy with.テつ There's a period there I had to battle injuries just to get out on the court here as well.テつ That's the pleasing thing and why I'm feeling mentally fresh and pretty good because I did spend quite a bit of chunks of those three or four years off the court.

Q.テつ What memories do you have of being 15?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ It's the only time I never played on Rod Laver Arena.テつ My only singles match on an outside court.
Yeah, I was obviously pretty nervous.テつ Just qualified.テつ Drew Sergi Bruguera who had won a couple of French Opens.テつ He hit spin on his forehand that I'd never seen before.テつ Yeah, as a 15‑year‑old, it was a great learning experience, though, for me, what it takes to compete against the best guys.テつ Obviously build on that the next few years.

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