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Hewitt bowed, but not broken -

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Hewitt bowed, but not broken

The World Today - Tuesday, 1 July , 2008 12:46:00

Reporter: Rafael Epstein

ELEANOR HALL: The reigning Wimbledon champion Roger Federer barely raised a sweat as he knocked
Australia's Lleyton Hewitt out of the tournament last night.

He beat Hewitt in straight sets and remains on track to claim a record equalling six straight
Wimbledon titles.

But Federer did have some positive words for the Australian who was the last player to win
Wimbledon before Federer began his run of victories as Europe correspondent Rafael Epstein reports.

(Sound of tennis ball being hit)

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Lleyton Hewitt is sometimes described as the unfortunate number one.

When he was at the peak of his game, Pete Sampras was bowing out, and Roger Federer was arriving
and this year Federer simply swept the Australian aside.

TENNIS UMPIRE: Game, set, match to Federer. 7-6, 6-2, 6-4.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Lleyton Hewitt won't say where or whether he'll play in the next few months. He is
taking advice on how to best heal his hip injury.

Still, he think's he's close to the top 5 in the world.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I didn't feel like I was that far away but then the big points he played a
lot better than I did. Obviously he, Djokovic and Nadal are the three stand outs at the moment. I
don't feel like I am that far away.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: I just wonder, is the daunting thing about playing him, he obviously gets the shots
in so well, or is there also a psychological barrier there for everyone that he ...

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, you don't focus too much on that. Once you go out there to play, it is about
what you can do to try and upset his rhythm and not play into his comfort zone too much.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: That must get very dispiriting. It seems like every time you get a bit closer, he
is always able to step up another level. Does it get you down when you are playing like that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, I don't know about another level. He stayed pretty similar the whole way
through but it was just the last five years or so he has played the big points extremely well so
you know, that is where the difference is.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: At his best, Hewitt was one of the faster and more powerful players. Now Roger
Federer, Rafael Nadal and players like Novak Djokovic have sometimes even more strength and speed
and they can pull off great shots.

Roger Federer seems able to put the ball wherever he chooses. Federer says that Hewitt - who's only
six months older than him, has a simple problem. Hewitt, he says, is injured, so he can't play as
many games as he needs to, to rebuild his world ranking.

ROGER FEDERER: Well I think for him the recent years have been more of an injury problem really
getting over that and being able to play a proper schedule from January to November but the thing
is as well, I don't think he cares that much about his ranking anymore so I think he has the
potential obviously to be top 10, top 5.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Can he make the same sort of shots that the others can?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, the thing is, I don't think the ranking is his driving thing here. I think it
is about being in the Slam. Playing me and then hopefully beating me which didn't happen today
because I think he was a bit hurt you know, but I can tell I think if he would play 25 tournaments
a year and be on top of his game, yes he has absolutely the chance to be at the top, you know.

ELEANOR HALL: That is the reigning Wimbledon champion, Roger Federer, ending that report from our
Europe correspondent, Rafael Epstein.