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March 20, 2014

Lleyton Hewitt


L. HEWITT/R. Haase
3‑6, 6‑3, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ What does 600 match wins mean to you?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Well, it's not something you focus on.テつ To tell you the truth, I totally forgot.テつ Sharko came up to me in the locker room.テつ Today was just like another match and an opportunity to go out there and play well.
Yeah, obviously afterwards, you know, a great milestone.テつ Not many people get to achieve that.テつ Not many people get the opportunity to get close that, so means I have been around for an awfully long time, as well.テつ I'm getting old.
Few years ago when I had the last couple lot of surgeries I probably would have doubted I'd get to this stage anyway.テつ I'm still grateful I'm out there and able to compete with the best guys.

Q.テつ After 600 wins, do you remember No. 1?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, pretty much.テつ Yeah.テつ Well, it was in my hometown, so, you know, I was lucky enough to get a wildcard at the Adelaide event.テつ I won the tournament.テつ Yeah, I beat my good mate‑‑ well, turned out he was my good mate probably six months, Scott Draper, another Australian Open in the first round.テつ We always joke about that.

Q.テつ Has anybody called you or texted you about this huge accomplishment?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Not yet.テつ My phone doesn't work in the locker room (smiling).
No, I have only spoke to my wife.テつ Yeah, that's it so far.テつ All my mates, my coach, Peter, and all the boys in the box today.テつ I had a few guys from the Bahamas come who I live with in the Bahamas.テつ They came across for the match today.テつ No, it was nice to enjoy it with those boys.

Q.テつ In that second set you were down 3‑1 to Robin, and then halfway through when you got those two straight games you switched shirts.テつ Was that kind of a choice, I need to change things up or trying to right something up with that shirt?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ No, I was just sweaty.テつ (Laughter.)テつ It's bloody humid out there.テつ It was just getting too humid to compete out there.テつ It had nothing to do with superstitions or the stage of the match.
But obviously, yeah, I felt like he played great the first set and a half.テつ He was really explosive.テつ He served well.テつ He moved really well, especially to his forehand.テつ Yeah, he came up with some good passing shots when he needed to.テつ I sort of had to weather the storm with him, and in the end I found a way to be able to get through.

Q.テつ Would you consider the five‑game streak kind of a turning point?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, well, the biggest turning point, I was struggling to break his serve.テつ I was getting into the games.テつ I was getting the 30‑All and deuce, but I just couldn't break serve.
When I was able to get back on level terms in that break for 3‑All, yeah, that was a big momentum key for me.テつ And then I was able to hold straightaway to go 4‑3‑up.
Then felt like I was playing on the better end with the breeze after that, as well.

Q.テつ Is it in the back of your mind when you're playing that you have a night session with Rafa if you win?テつ And what are your thoughts on the match coming up?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, it was a little bit in my mind.テつ Yeah, I still play the game to have an opportunity to play against the best guys in the world, and, yeah, Rafa is.テつ No doubt about it.
Yeah, I look forward to the challenge.テつ This is, you know, obviously a really tough draw and frustrating, you know, you don't get to have a crack at him later in the tournament.
But, yeah, I'm happy to get to go out there and play against Rafa.

Q.テつ Are you hungry?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Hungry?テつ Yeah, my mates were with us, for sure.

Q.テつ We stalked to Federer today, and I know he's 32 now; you're 33.
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ We were born in the same year.テつ I have him by a couple of months.

Q.テつ He was talking about, you know, if you take care of your body, there is no reason you can't play for a long time.テつ Can you kind of talk about how you feel about that?テつ And also, you know, what he's done now, you know, and kept up his tennis at this age?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ Yeah, I think some people are luckier than others with their body.テつ Some guys, you know, you just can't go on.テつ You know, something breaks down you just can't come back from some kind of surgeries or injuries.
Yeah, for me it was tough coming up.テつ The start of my career, the first three quarters I had no surgeries or big injuries at all.テつ Then I had five surgeries in four years, and that sort of was tough to come back from.
Yeah, and then you're grateful to be back playing.テつ Obviously I do all the right things and right preparation for my body, but it does get harder.
But, yeah, Roger, what he's done and the way that he competes still at his age and pushes the best guys in the world week in and week out, and the pressure that is on him, you know, he's a target every week as well just because of who he is and what he's done.テつ He's remarkable.

Q.テつ What keeps you motivated at this point?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ I think for me, you know, obviously the Grand Slams and Davis Cup are a big thing for me.テつ But also, yeah, the tough times coming back from surgeries, that's motivation enough as well to know ‑‑ it's only really my close group know what we had to do to get back out here and compete again.
There were times when you doubted whether you were going to go out there and play again.
Yeah, that's motivation enough.テつ When I do retire, I will be retired for an awfully long time.
It's still fun going out there and playing against these guys.

Q.テつ When you see 600 match wins, does that give you that encouragement to say, Well, let's try and put on another 100 or something?
LLEYTON HEWITT:テつ (Smiling).テつ No, not at all.テつ I won't keep playing just for that goal, that's for sure.

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