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September 2, 1998

Paul Haarhuis


PAUL HAARHUIS: He was supposed to go to dinner at 7:30, the people called him and said we'll be 20 minutes to half an hour late. We will come to the hotel, we'll meet you in the lobby. 20 minutes later this phone call -- it was his wife, she said my water broke. He actually was very lucky that those people called him and delayed him by 20 minutes.

Q. Was she early?

PAUL HAARHUIS: She was two weeks early, next Sunday and a week, so 12 days early.

Q. You obviously celebrated a big win with him. Could you compare the happiness you shared with him to having a baby and everything, a Grand Slam?

PAUL HAARHUIS: It is a miracle. It is indescribable what he was feeling.

Q. It was his first?


Q. He got there an hour before the baby was born?


Q. The baby's name is Flushing Meadow?


Q. Healthy?

PAUL HAARHUIS: Healthy, happy.

Q. What is the baby's name?

PAUL HAARHUIS: Lars. I can't believe he's dumping me, his buddy for seven years for a kid he's never seen before. We've been through so much and he's dumping me.

Q. It is his first?

PAUL HAARHUIS: With this wife, yeah.

Q. Come on, Paul?

PAUL HAARHUIS: This is the only kid he knows of and that we know of, let me put it that way -- (laughing) -- no, it's his first.

Q. How long is the flight back?

PAUL HAARHUIS: Six and a half hours.

Q. It is a 10 o'clock flight, right?

PAUL HAARHUIS: He arrived 11 in Amsterdam, took a cab or got picked up, and he arrived 1 o'clock in the hospital and five to two she delivered the baby.

Q. So she held out for him?

PAUL HAARHUIS: It was a sigh of relief when he came in, and then it came out.

Q. That is great. How do you feel about this whole thing.

PAUL HAARHUIS: I told him I can't believe he dumped me for some kid he's never seen before.

Q. Did you guys talk about this beforehand?


Q. About this possibility?

PAUL HAARHUIS: We talked about the possibilities, that it could happen and he could go home. I am disappointed it happened right now. I am not disappointed he went home. I'm happy for him that he came home in time for his baby, that his wife is healthy, that the baby's healthy and he's doing well. I am disappointed at this point it happened, that we can't play and go out and try to win this title.

Q. It's too late for you to get another partner?


Q. When was her due date?

PAUL HAARHUIS: Sunday, the Final Sunday, so the Finals.

Q. You are married?


Q. Any kids?

PAUL HAARHUIS: I became a father in February. I stayed home from the Australian Open the first couple of weeks for the year because my wife was do then.

Q. So you know, you can relate to this?

PAUL HAARHUIS: I stayed home. I wouldn't have even taken the risk of being here. I wouldn't have come here. I wouldn't have been here.

Q. It's worse this way?

PAUL HAARHUIS: No, no. I am just saying I wouldn't have even been here. He took a big risk to miss it. He was very lucky because he was going out the door to go for dinner and then the lady called who he was going to dinner with, these people he knows, we are running 20 minutes late. It was 20 minutes they were late and he was waiting for them in the room. His wife called 20 minutes later, my water broke. Had he gotten to the dinner, he would have missed the message and missed the flight. He was very lucky to be home. I wouldn't even risk missing that.

Q. This was his first?

PAUL HAARHUIS: First child, yeah. You play 30 or 50 Grand Slams, you don't want to risk not being there when your wife's having a child. Even if you could break records. Personally, if you could win your 50th in a row, I would miss it.

Q. He was in the delivery room for the whole thing?

PAUL HAARHUIS: Not the whole thing, only last hour. He arrived at 1 o'clock and she delivered five to two. It started hours before, but he was there when the baby was delivered.

Q. Have you spoken to him?

PAUL HAARHUIS: Yes, I spoke to him. He was home, she was home, the baby was doing well. He said, "He didn't cry yet." I said, "Well, when he gets hungry he will." I forgot to ask him if he changed diapers or not.

Q. This was back in the Netherlands?


Q. He caught an overnight flight?


Q. To?

PAUL HAARHUIS: To Amsterdam.

Q. He was going to go to dinner when?

PAUL HAARHUIS: He was going to go to dinner at 7:30 and they called and said they were going to be late, 7:45 his wife called and he got a flight at 10:30, 11:00 to Amsterdam. It was overbooked by 50 people, but he knows somebody. They had some people that didn't make the flight, but Jacco came at the first minute.

Q. Name of the boy?


Q. Do you know pounds or ounces?

PAUL HAARHUIS: 3,500 -- 3,350 grams. I don't know how much that is in pounds or ounces. For a boy, that's not too big.

Q. So you certainly understand everything that's happened?


Q. There's no disappointment or --

PAUL HAARHUIS: There is disappointment in that we can't play. Obviously there is no disappointment or resentment that he went home besides the fact that he dumped me for some kid he's never seen before.

Q. Are you going to dump him?

PAUL HAARHUIS: Yeah, for sure.

Q. What tournament are you going to play in next with him?

PAUL HAARHUIS: No more Grand Slams with him, never, I'm through with him.

Q. When is your next one?

PAUL HAARHUIS: I don't know. Only a couple of tournaments -- he's retiring at the end of the year.

Q. How many tournaments have you played with him?

PAUL HAARHUIS: And this is his thank you for all of these years. That's what a real buddy does for you.

Q. Could you volunteer to play both courts?

PAUL HAARHUIS: I tried to talk the referee into letting me play. He said, "Who's going to serve?" I said, "I'll serve. Left or right?" No, it's okay

End of FastScripts....

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