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January 19, 2005

Tommy Haas


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Tommy.

Q. You still troubled by that groin injury?

TOMMY HAAS: No. That was actually not the factor today. You know, it probably was because I couldn't maybe, you know, practice as hard as I wanted to the week before that I came here, and that showed today a little bit, that the heat got to me, and I felt like I hit a wall and never got out of it.

Q. Did you think you had it under control two sets to love up? You thought you were going to the next round?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I thought everything was going the way that I planned it. I don't know, I think I didn't get off to a great start in the third set, and then pretty much at the same time my body just shut down totally, you know, started feeling my legs, had to ice it already mid through the third set, and never really felt good after that any more. That gave him some confidence, picked up his game a little bit, and mine just went further down and further down. Had a few chances to get back into it in the fourth, you know, a couple points here and there that could have maybe gone my way, could have been different, but then they didn't. Just didn't have enough air in the fifth.

Q. Was the heat a problem, as well?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, that was the main problem for me unfortunately today.

Q. Have you felt like that before? Is this the first time it's really gotten to you?

TOMMY HAAS: It's the first time in a very long time. I wouldn't remember if it ever happened. But it probably did maybe. But it's a long time ago.

Q. Can you compare his game in the Davis Cup and today?

TOMMY HAAS: No, not really. He didn't do anything differently. You know, Davis Cup was a different match. It seemed like it was going that way for me as well first two sets, and then, you know, he came up with some good tennis throughout the whole match, though.

Q. Was there actually an injury?

TOMMY HAAS: No, I had an injury at Hopman Cup. So, you know, I pulled out of Sydney and didn't really do much before I got here. You know, took it easy a little bit. Maybe that showed a little bit today out there, that the heat got to me. And physically, I just couldn't recover as well as I wanted.

Q. I was actually referring to today. There wasn't anything?

TOMMY HAAS: No. Today the injury didn't really -- no, that didn't bother me.

Q. Is it any more frustrating because you've missed the past two Australian Opens?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, it's a little bit frustrating. I men, it's nice to be back here. It's always nice to go out on Rod Laver Stadium and perform. You know, yeah, it's very frustrating to be able to go home tomorrow. I would like to stay longer and play some more tennis. But, you know, that's life.

Q. This was a good tournament for you the past couple of years, wasn't it?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, it's always been pretty good to me. I've reached the semifinals here twice. Lost a couple times in the second round. So we'll see. We'll just have to accept the fact and move on now and get excited again for next year.

Q. What happened when you walked off the court near the end and the umpire went after you?

TOMMY HAAS: I just had a big stomach cramp. You know, I thought maybe that I would have to lay down. So I just walked into the shade where it was a little bit cooler and stretched it out. It seemed to be fine when I did that.

Q. He thought you were actually leaving the court so he came back to get you?

TOMMY HAAS: Who went after me?

Q. The umpire.

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I guess he was just checking to see how I was doing just in case I wasn't doing too well.

Q. After such a long break, do you feel mentally tougher now than you sort of did before you had the time off? Was that more frustrating today?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I mean, mentally I was trying to tell myself keep going. Did many things to try to get my body back to where it needs to be. That never happened. So I try not to let it be too frustrating. I always thought, you know, I was ahead a set, then we were even sets. Still always thought maybe, you know -- you never know, fight till the last point. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough. But, you know, throughout what happened the last two or three years in my career, obviously that's helped me to be mentally tougher, yeah.

Q. Do you still feel your best tennis can be ahead of you in your career?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I would certainly like to hope so. You know, there's a few things that obviously I can work on still and get better. You know, I've been back on tour now for eight, nine months, after a 15-month layover. So there's still a few things I need to do better. But I think, you know, I can still play some of my have best tennis to come, yeah.

Q. Are there any areas specifically you're working on to try to get to where you want to be?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah. I still think I need to come into the net more. You know, if I have a good shot, follow that in. Feel comfortable doing that, it's not in my game the past many years. Still hesitant and never really know when the right time is there. But with time and doing it actually in matches, that's the way to do it, not only in practice. So we'll see when that happens.

End of FastScripts….

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