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August 15, 1996

Tommy Haas


GREG SHARKO: Tommy's first career ATP Tour quarterfinal. And he has now taken out the No. 8 seed Renzo Furlan and No. 10 seed Mark Woodforde this week without losing a set?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, didn't lose a set.

GREG SHARKO: First question.

Q. I assume you didn't come to your first ATP Tour event and expect to make a quarterfinal?

TOMMY HAAS: You are right. I didn't assume that at all. I tried to come here and play my best tennis and so far it has been going good. Playing really well and I am very happy beating those players and hopefully can keep on going like this.

Q. What was working out there for you today?

TOMMY HAAS: Mostly everything, just, you know, first set we were both holding serve until the tiebreaker. Everybody was holding serve pretty easily and then tiebreaker, I made a couple of good shots and won the tiebreak 7-3 and second set he broke me right away, and that pissed me off a little bit because I didn't want to get broken and so I broke him right back. I broke him back; was up 3-1, 4-1, 4-2; hold my serve 5-2, broke him again 6-2, so I am really happy with that.

Q. You haven't played on any stadium court or grandstand court yet?

TOMMY HAAS: No, I haven't.

Q. Has that kind of helped not having to play in front of a fair amount of people?

TOMMY HAAS: Doesn't really matter. Once you are out on the tennis court, you focus on the tennis court and the ball. Even though there was a big crowd out there today, Court 2, both sides were pretty packed. Hopefully, now I get to play Sampras, if he wins today; maybe they can then put me on the stadium.

Q. Your thoughts on playing Pete?

TOMMY HAAS: I was supposed to hit with him three weeks ago, just for practicing. I'd rather play him in the tournament and try my best to beat him. We will see what happens.

Q. You seem so cool out there.

TOMMY HAAS: So what?

Q. So steady, cool.

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, just try to, you know, play my game; focus. If you get crazy and you mess up a little bit in the head like Agassi did last night, you know, things can happen and change the whole game, and you can lose or get defaulted like yesterday. You don't want to do that.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Obviously you must have spent some time here in the States. Your pretty conversant in English.

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I have been in the States five and a half years. Living at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy since January '91, so I have been here and I just finished high school in May, so now I can totally focus on the pro Tour.

GREG SHARKO: What school did you go to?

TOMMY HAAS: Bradenton Academy.

Q. Did you contemplate at all a collegiate -- going to college at all?

TOMMY HAAS: No, never really. If I wouldn't make it on tour, I would probably go back to Germany and finish study something there, but college is not in my mind, really. Hopefully I make it on the pro Tour and don't have to think about it.

Q. Did you think you would have this big of impact at this tournament knocking off the two big seeds?

TOMMY HAAS: If I what.

Q. Do you think you would have this big of impact coming into the tournament, even though you just come in to just to play well?

TOMMY HAAS: Not sure. My coaches, they have a lot of trust in me. They give me the opportunity to play well and also IMG and they gave me a wildcard for this tournament so they must have thought I had good chances or at least can play well and compete with these big players; that is what I am doing.

Q. Are you in constant contact with Nick, or how does that work?

TOMMY HAAS: Most of the time, yeah. He is not travelling with me right now because he is on his book tour. Who knows, maybe he will come tomorrow if I play against Sampras; maybe he will surprise me.... We will see. But once I start being in the top, he will travel with me also.

Q. You have put your finger on a problem which a lot of people had with Nick. They have said -- a lot of players have left him because he is doing other things and not concentrating on them. Do you think, in the future, that might be a problem for you?

TOMMY HAAS: No, I think he concentrates on the people he is with full-time. He was with Agassi for a long time; then Becker and Philippoussis. Everybody has to split up or maybe not depending on how it is going, but, you know, like I said, once I start really playing on the Tour and have a full schedule for me, then he can come with me and travel with me, but I don't have a real schedule yet because I am still trying to get into the top 60, maybe, whatever, so I can have a schedule and then, you know, don't have to hope maybe I get in this tournament and maybe have to play qualifying there and stuff like this, but it is going well, you know, just starting on the pro Tour; playing for a couple of months and very happy.

Q. How difficult is it to live -- I mean, you were young; you lived away from your family. What was that like for you?

TOMMY HAAS: Well, it was my choice. My parents didn't force me to go to NBTA. It was what I wanted to do. I told my parents I think I can make it here. My dad give all the trust to Nick Bollettieri and so it has been working great. They keep in touch. They talk about me, so it is no problems for me; plus I didn't see my family when I was 12 and a half or 13 years old. I saw them every five or six weeks. Either they would come to the States or I would go home to Germany; plus when I was 8 years old, I flew all across Europe to tournaments by myself, so it was never a big problem.

Q. What does your father do?

TOMMY HAAS: Tennis coach also. His first name is Peter.

Q. Where?

TOMMY HAAS: In Munich.

Q. At a club?

TOMMY HAAS: Club in Munich.

Q. What is next after Indianapolis for you?

TOMMY HAAS: Well depending on how I do here, maybe Toronto qualifying, and U.S. Open qualifying, for sure.

GREG SHARKO: Any goals this year at all?

TOMMY HAAS: Before this tournament I was going to try to just, you know, by the end of the year go in the top 200, something like this. After this tournament, I could have maybe did-- I don't know, I really haven't counted the points yet; plus it is not over yet. We will see what my ranking is after this tournament, go from there.

Q. What do you see as the strengths in your game and the weaknesses?

TOMMY HAAS: Strengths -- well, nobody has weaknesses really in the game today. And my strength is my forehand, I would say. I like to run around my backhands and rip my forehand once in a while, but mostly everything is pretty, you know, good.

Q. What are your expectations in the Sampras match assuming you play Sampras?

TOMMY HAAS: Well, all I want to do tomorrow is go out there and try my best. I don't really have any expectations to beat him or anything. I am just going to -- I am really happy that I won three rounds and proved myself to play him and just want to have fun out there tomorrow and give the crowd a good show and we will see what happens.

Q. Did you have any trouble this morning thinking, gee, I have already done better than I would have expected; doesn't matter today what happens?

TOMMY HAAS: Usually I am really happy always after the match, like I am thinking I am in the second round now; but then right before the match you think, you know, just another match and you want to go farther and so being in the second round or third round doesn't really matter because once you play and play and play you want to keep on winning and you get used to winning. Maybe then if you lose, maybe it is a bad feeling, but, you know, it has been going well so far, but if you lose against somebody like in the top 10 or Sampras, it wouldn't be such a bad feeling.

GREG SHARKO: Okay? Thank you very much.

TOMMY HAAS: All right. Thank you.

End of FastScripts...

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