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August 13, 1996

Tommy Haas


GREG SHARKO: As I mentioned, this was Tommy's first career ATP Tour tournament this week here and he advances into the third round. He is 18 years old from Munich, Germany.

TOMMY HAAS: That is right.

GREG SHARKO: He was an Orange Bowl Finalist last December.

TOMMY HAAS: Also won it when I was 14.

GREG SHARKO: And he finished as the No. 4 junior in the world in 1995. And today beat the No. 8 seed and 30th ranked Renzo Furlan, the highest seed to go out so far. Okay.

Q. What is the secret of your success this week?

TOMMY HAAS: This is my first major ATP tournament that I am in the main draw and, you know, just came out here to play really good and try my best. So first round everything went find against Dick Norman, and then playing Renzo Furlan, he is a very good player and I just tried my best, so no big secret, just playing my game and he was a little bit handicapped today. He was a little bit injured, I believe, on his leg, but even though, it is very tough to play players that are injured because you are injured and they are kind of like going for the balls and so it could be -- easily you could be a down a breakpoint and something, but I just kept my focus and played really well. Very glad that I won today.

Q. What is strength of your game? What type of --

TOMMY HAAS: I am overall player. Do most everything pretty well like everybody else, actually. Nobody really has weaknesses or everything is pretty strong.

Q. How is it that Indianapolis was your first tournament?

TOMMY HAAS: This is my first wildcard.

Q. Any particular reason for being this?

TOMMY HAAS: For being here?

Q. This being your first tournament.

TOMMY HAAS: I think it is because it is a Nike tournament and I am with Nike now so they gave me the wildcard. IMG did that, so that is how I came here.

Q. Are you surprised at how well you are doing this week?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I am. I have been playing well actually the last couple of months, really. I started on the Tour now in March and I got a wildcard for Germany and -- Challengers in Germany, got to the finals; that was really good for me, so I don't have to play the satellites. I skip that.

Q. Where did you get to the finals of?

TOMMY HAAS: In Weiden, a Challenger. I got another one after that. I got a couple of points and got my ranking right up to 450 which was very good right away and then I just kept on playing, playing some tournaments and trying to move my way up as soon as possible and hopefully I can play these tournaments one after one, try to win one hopefully soon.

Q. What is the biggest strength? You say you don't have any --

TOMMY HAAS: My forehand really is my weapon; run around my forehand sometimes and try to hit through it like Andre Agassi sometimes, just whip it.

Q. Where did you come up in Germany, what city or town?

TOMMY HAAS: Born in Hamburg, but I live in Munich now. But I live in Bollettieri Academy for the last four and a half years. I just finished high school in May; now I have time to really turn pro.

Q. Do you have a regular coach?

TOMMY HAAS: My coach is Nick Bollettieri. He is not here right now and I have assistant Red Ayme. He works in the academy a long time. When I am in Europe they are not there, and my dad is there. He taught me how to play tennis and Nick is just now the next one. Hopefully, soon I can have everybody around me.

GREG SHARKO: Okay, Tommy will play the winner of Jeff Salzenstein and Mark Woodforde in the third round on Thursday.

Q. If you get by Woodforde.....

TOMMY HAAS: If I get by Woodforde maybe to play Pete Sampras. That would be really, really nice.

Q. Have you ever played anybody as high as Renzo Furlan that you recall?

TOMMY HAAS: I think Renzo is top tournament player that I played. He is ranked 30. He is the highest ranked player that I have played. I have practiced with other players like Agassi and Becker, but he is the one in the first in a tournament.

Q. Playing doubles?


GREG SHARKO: Anything else?

Q. Doesn't sound like much of a big deal to you.

TOMMY HAAS: I have been playing tennis for a very long time, so.....

Q. You have practiced with all the big names.

TOMMY HAAS: Sure, I mean, it is a big thing, for sure, to win against a number 30th player in the world, but I just have other dreams ahead of me; maybe playing Sampras here in the quarters and beating him. That would be -- I would maybe be a little bit more happier.

Q. How did you get involved with Bollettieri?

TOMMY HAAS: ZDN German television, they wanted to make a story with Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. They flew me over there with my dad and I really thought I could make it as a pro there and I stayed there.

Q. That was when?

TOMMY HAAS: January 1991. I also was there in December 1989 when I was German champion on the 12s, 11s. My sister was there with me. We didn't like it first time we were there. I went there again and it was better.

Q. January '91?


Q. Are you going to play next week in the Canadian Open?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, play qualifying in Toronto.

Q. You have to qualify there?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, after that play U.S. Open.

Q. You have to qualify there too?


GREG SHARKO: If he gets far enough, he might be --

TOMMY HAAS: That would be nice.

Q. Let us see. You get by the next round, would your ranking go up enough to get straight in?

TOMMY HAAS: Not yet, no.

Q. Would you actually get into the qualifier of the U.S. Open?


GREG SHARKO: You mean with his ranking? Yes.

Q. 350?

GREG SHARKO: 390 this week.

TOMMY HAAS: Pick up some more; maybe go to 320.

Q. When do they could the rankings?

GREG SHARKO: Six week list that comes out --

Q. That is what I am saying. I wouldn't think you would get in. I wouldn't have thought so.

GREG SHARKO: Sometimes it is tight.

TOMMY HAAS: Sometimes people don't come in.

Q. Let us hope so.

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, hopefully. So I can qualify.

GREG SHARKO: Anything else?

End of FastScripts...

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