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January 17, 2006

Tommy Haas



Q. What was the story of today's match?

TOMMY HAAS: Well, the first time we played against each other. So it's always tough. I think you're trying to figure out each other's game in the beginning a little bit. I think it was quite important for both of us to see who will get the early break or maybe the first set to kind of get some confidence. I think in the second it was very important, I think he got away with a break, he started to feel more comfortable. Somehow I broke him back, played some good tennis to break him for the second set. Yeah, pretty pleased with my performance.

Q. What is the big improvement in your form over the last few months?

TOMMY HAAS: I don't know. End of last year was a difficult time for me. You know, just try to forget that. Try to look forward for 2006. Try to prepare as good as I could. You know, had a good week in Doha, which gives me some confidence. Played some good tennis in Kooyong. Now I'm here just trying to take it match by match, try to improve on the things I'm working on and, you know, try to do that during the matches as good as I can. That's what I'm working on.

Q. Is the key confidence?

TOMMY HAAS: Well, definitely helps. Obviously, if you're not winning any matches, you're going out there, you're not going to feel too good about yourself, too good about the game. If you keep believing and you keep, you know, improving in practice and working on some things, at a time it will come. You know, for me, that's what I'm working on right now.

Q. Do you feel you're getting back to the best form of your career almost now, Tommy?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I would like to think that. You know, there's still a lot of things I need to work on to maybe be where I once was, if ever. I'm just trying to, like I said before, go out there, do my best, work hard, try to improve week in and week out, you know, give everybody a hard time playing against me, hopefully try to win as many matches as I can.

Q. When you come into a tournament like this unseeded, is it almost like there's much less pressure on you even though it can be difficult?

TOMMY HAAS: Not really. I always like to be seeded honestly because you know you're not going to play some big names in the first round. Playing Richard Gasquet in the first round is never going to be an easy task. But, you know, with my performances or the way I've been playing, I didn't really care who I was going to playing first round. I was just going out there, like I said, and try to improve the things I'm working on. It's been working pretty good so far.

Q. Did you work on anything specifically today in your game?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I know he has a beautiful backhand, you know, lots of spin. He likes to have his time. That's why I think he's a phenomenal player on clay court, such as he proved last year, how dangerous he is. You know, try to take the ball a little early, try to, you know, move it around as much as I can and try to dictate play. I think I did that pretty good.

Q. Have you afforded yourself a look through the draw at all? Obviously, Roger at the top there.

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, you peek ahead a little bit, which I think every player does that, to be honest. You do have to play match by match. You know, my next opponent is Paul Goldstein, a guy that's been around for a long time. We played our first match actually 12 years ago in a satellite in Hawaii. You know, he is a tough competitor, tough player. He's going to go out there and play like he's got nothing to lose. You're going to have to go out there and play your game and perform another, you know, good day of tennis. That's what's so good about it, everybody can also play this game. Match for match, you look ahead. You know some guys are going to be somewhere in the Round of 16, in the quarters. We'll see how far I'll get.

End of FastScripts….

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