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September 1, 1999

Tommy Haas

Flushing Meadows, New York

USTA: Questions in English first.

Q. I understand you received some treatment after the match. Are you feeling okay? Any problems?

TOMMY HAAS: Yes, it's bothering me a little bit. On my hip flexor, I pulled a little muscle. I have to be careful. I'm getting a little treatment after this, as we speak. Hopefully it's nothing too bad. Hopefully I'll be okay for Friday.

Q. Pulled it in the third set?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, third set. He hit an overhead, I went for a running forehand. I kind of changed direction, pulled it a little bit. But it was still good enough to keep playing; didn't bother me too much. I don't think it's much of a serious problem.

Q. You were struggling a bit in the middle of the third set. How much did this injury contribute to that?

TOMMY HAAS: Didn't think too much about it at this time. It's bothering me now a little bit. I think it's just normal. You know, I should have served it out at 5-3 maybe. I played a loose game there. He made some good returns. He kind of came back. In the tiebreak at 6-2, that's the way tennis goes sometimes, you know, back and forth.

Q. Seemed you were a little frustrated at one point in the third with some of the calls.

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, one of the calls, actually. It was pretty far out. On TV it looks a little bit closer, but live I think it was four or six inches out. Things like this happen. Actually, I recovered from that pretty good. I hit two big serves after that. It was not too bad.

Q. Were you at all fearful that this match might get away from you at that point?

TOMMY HAAS: No. Maybe a little bit if I lose the tiebreak in the third set, going into a fourth, that could have been tough. Usually the opponent gets pumped up again. He saves a couple match points, coming from 2-5 down in the third. I was happy I finished him off in three.

Q. This is your fourth US Open, but the first as a seed.


Q. You come in here with a different status, playing in Stadium Court. How does that feel?

TOMMY HAAS: It's great. It's the first time I'm seeded here, coming to the US Open, like you said. Enqvist was one of the players close to be seeded. I'm sure everybody watched out who was going to draw him. I was the one who got him. It's nice to walk out on Arthur Ashe Stadium. A good temperature, jut a little bit windy, which for both us is tough. I think it plays faster than the previous years, which suits me maybe a little more than him. Yeah, I'm really happy. It was a good match.

Q. Your expectations here?

TOMMY HAAS: Obviously I have a look. Everybody can play tennis. Next opponent I'm going to play later. I have to check it out. Anybody can play. Friday is a new day. See what happens, give it your best.

Q. With the top seeds out, anybody can win this thing now?

TOMMY HAAS: You have to give Agassi a pretty good chance at it, the way he's been playing in the summer, all year long. I practiced with him a couple days back. He looks probably as fit as he's ever done. I give him a very good look at it. Obviously, you never know. The other seeds, everybody is dangerous. If anybody can pull up two good weeks here, they have a chance to win also.

Q. You've beaten Agassi, haven't you?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, a year and a half ago, also on grass court. Different story.

Q. If you beat him, you could win the tournament.

TOMMY HAAS: I'm not looking that far.

Q. How did you first get together with Nick Bollettieri in Florida?

TOMMY HAAS: A long time ago. I was 11 years old, won the German championships. I won a trip with my sister for two weeks. I came back a year and a half later in '91, where I was, yeah, going there to make a little story at the Nick Bollettieri Academy. That's how I got there.

Q. What kind of an effect does it have when the two best players pull out? Does it give you more of a boost?

TOMMY HAAS: It certainly opens up the draw. There's actually three top players who did really well here last year, and haven't had the chance to play, like Philippoussis or Sampras or Rafter. Obviously, it opens up the draw. Maybe chances for the other ones. You know, it's just bad luck. I'm sure it would be nice if they would still be in the tournament. It's good for the spectators, even for the players. Players love to play against the big players. You know, that's just the way it goes. Injuries happen to everyone. Just makes the player appreciate to be healthy and can't wait to come out again to play next time.

End of FastScripts….

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