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WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN


August 15, 2018


Robin Haase


Cincinnati, Ohio

R. HAASE/A. Zverev

5-7, 6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Huge win for you. You mentioned on the court age is sort of a number. At this point, 31 is the new 21. How are you taking care of yourself and your body more so than when you were younger?
ROBIN HAASE: I think when I grew up there was already a change in how you look at the body. The knowledge from physios and physical trainers, it's much more than it used to be. Also sometimes specific to tennis but also specific for the individual persons and players.

I have been working with a team. I have my full-time coach, and besides that, I have several people that help me. It's a physical trainer, one at home, one that travels with me but not all the time. I have a physio at home, osteopath at home. Sometimes they travel with me.

So I try to see week by week -- of course, in advance -- but week by week, okay, what is a smart choice to take who? Where can I do more physical? Where maybe I have to protect the body a little bit? Because you play a lot and maybe you can't do a lot of physical so you need more treatment.

By the years, you get experience in that, and then you can make that schedule better and better.

Q. You beat Zverev also in Paris. Is there anything specific about that matchup you feel allows you to be so successful?
ROBIN HAASE: Well, we played four times now. The first time he literally kicked my ass. I lost 2-0 or 0-2. That was the tournament where he actually came up.

And, yeah, since then he's come a long way. We played at the Australian Open where he completely destroyed me again for one-and-a-half sets, but then I managed to turn it around, and maybe in the end I should have won that match but I lost it mentally.

And now I was there twice physically, mentally, and game-wise I was there. And we have to be a little bit lucky, as well, against these top guys. Nowadays against top 10, 20, maybe top 50 you have to be a little bit lucky.

But I think I played well. Today my returns I think were really, really good. I mean, I think the first serve he hit at me was 136, and I just hit it right back. I was good from my side.

Q. Was there a special key that you had today? I had the impression that you were so focused, you were so in sync with you and your tennis. Was that somehow the key today, just all so right for you?
ROBIN HAASE: Well, if you look at the first two games, I was actually starting unbelievable. Then I got the break back. And then actually until 4-1, I wasn't stable, I wasn't actually concentrated the way I should.

But from that moment, I was calm. I was working on my breathing a little bit, and that way I got into the match.

Then at a certain moment, yeah, I came into a flow and I kept it. Although, of course, in the third set it really could have gone either way. He had so many break points already in the beginning of the set, but, yeah, I kept playing and I did my thing, and in the end it worked out.

Q. You're playing doubles later?
ROBIN HAASE: Yes.

Q. An hour or two?
ROBIN HAASE: One-and-a-half now, yeah.

Q. What do you think of the fans in Cincinnati? Do you think they are pretty knowledgeable as far as you go to other tournaments?
ROBIN HAASE: Well, I don't know (smiling). I have been here three times and I lost two times first round. This is the furthest I have played.

I have played on center court now. I have always played on the small courts, so I honestly cannot answer you.

Q. No, no. I understand the fans were disappointed because you didn't give autographs on the way out of the stadium. Is that because of doubles or because of contractual obligations?
ROBIN HAASE: Well, I have never heard of that ever before.

Q. I mean, other things you had to do?
ROBIN HAASE: Yeah, well, I don't know the people you're talking about, but while I walk out, I said, Sorry, guys, I have doubles. I really need to be quick, but after the doubles I can do it.

And the response I got, Oh, thank you. We'll be there.

So I don't know actually how disappointed the people were, but, yeah, that was the reason, yeah.

Q. You mentioned that very first point and Sascha coming out with a 136-miles-an-hour serve. You put it back with no problem. Do you think that strong message kind of set the tone for him that I'm not backing down and I'll take whatever you can give me today?
ROBIN HAASE: I don't think he was impressed (smiling). He's not that quickly impressed.

Yeah, of course it does set the tone for the match, but it doesn't really affect him, because I think the second ball I played a good return again and he just hit a forehand winner. Just, okay, then we do like that.

But it does maybe unconsciously give us a message, Oh, the guy is there. Maybe not at that moment but maybe at 2-All, 3-All, 4-All he knows, hey, he's been playing well from the start. He's been returning well. I have to keep on serving well.

So, yes, it can, but I don't know. That's actually something he should answer, because, yeah, he feels it at that moment.

Q. You mentioned you were working on your breathing. At what point in the match? What does that mean exactly?
ROBIN HAASE: Sometimes you break a racquet. Sometimes you scream. Sometimes you talk to yourself. Sometimes you breathe. Sometimes -- I can imagine 20 other things.

Today I tried to stay calm because I was not calm at all, and I was talking, and the way to stop me today, I thought, to stop talk is breathe so you don't have the opportunity to talk because you're there.

So that was it today. But it wasn't, oh, that always works, or...

Q. Deeper breaths or just focusing on it?
ROBIN HAASE: Yeah, a few deeper breaths and then focus and then focus on the line and then don't get distracted with your eyes. There are thousands of things that can help.

Q. I have really enjoyed watching you play this summer, both here in Cincinnati and Washington. You just talked about calming. At 31, do you feel calmer than ever on the tour during the hard court season?
ROBIN HAASE: I don't want to correct you, but I don't know who you saw in Washington but that was not me.

Q. I'm so sorry. I actually meant last week.
ROBIN HAASE: Okay, Toronto. No, no, that's fine.

It's tough. I mean, you have good days; you have some bad days. Two weeks ago I played Kitzb├╝hel on clay, and if you saw me there you wouldn't ask me the same question. You would say, Would you get crazier with age?

It's tough. It's something I'm working on, like the mental part, like the tennis part. And it's something that needs practice. Sometimes it goes well, but then actually because it goes well, other things come which maybe annoy you and you react even worse than before, so then suddenly you have to deal with that.

It's an ongoing process, and it's something that I'm working a lot with my coach, and it's something which helps me, because as you can see today I'm actually really calm and I'm focused. In the end, I don't get disturbed by anything anymore.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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