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October 21, 1997

Tommy Haas

Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle Stuttgart, Germany

Q. Did you feel with all the break opportunities you had, you would win the match or were you getting a bit frustrated, especially with him missing his first serves?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I think I was 3-All in the first set. I had pretty easy backhand to pass him to go up a break. I think if I made that shot, you know, it is a totally different ballgame. But if you don't make it, you go back to deuce. So you can't have any excuses about that. Got to look forward. Lost the first set, a little bit unlucky, 7-5. Then the second set, I got the break and I won it 6-3, and he broke me again in the third set and he won it 6-4, so obviously it shows that, you know, who wins the most important points is going to win the match. Most of the matches he plays, is just going to decide on maybe two or three points and he won them today. That is the way it goes.

Q. Were you finding it difficult a little bit to get yourself up after all the time last week and being so close last week?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I was very excited about what happened last week. I was not even supposed to go to Lyon and I just got there with my own ranking and played very good tennis there last week; got the first time to the Finals of a tournament. And, so, I just arrived Sunday night late in Munich and I drove yesterday morning up here. So, I didn't really have much time to get myself prepared, couldn't hit on the center court one time to see how the toss is with the serve or couldn't really get my tension going on my rackets. So, I think I was not very much comfortable about playing right away. But, you know, that is no excuse. Obviously, if you are in the Finals of another tournament, you know you have to do that. You have to deal with it. So I am not bitching about that because I am happy with what I did last week. But, it is tougher.

Q. Has the year so far exceeded anything you perhaps were looking towards at the start of the year? From Hamburg onwards you have suddenly come right away through; haven't you?

TOMMY HAAS: Hamburg I was still ranked around 120 so that was my goal to move into the top 100. And, since then I just set little goals. My goal was to get to the top 50 at the end of the year, so I have reach that so far and so I am very happy about that. Now, I have to set another goal and I haven't really thought about it yet. I don't have many points to defend until April. So basically the only way for me is probably to move up and I look forward to the Australian Open.

Q. Just looking at that match overall, do you think you had -- how many more opportunities do you think you had to win it than he had?

TOMMY HAAS: Well, like I said, if I make the first shot at 3-All, with the breakpoint, I think that would give me a little bit more of a shot to maybe win the first set and I think in the third set to come back also, I had a chance to come back at 2-All where I had the forehand, but, you know, one or two points the match will decide, and, you know, you make a mistake or the other guy plays a little bit better. But I think it is very difficult tough to play Tim because he doesn't give you much rhythm; especially on fast surface indoors, first serve is really hard; good placement. He comes in and covers the net well; doesn't make many volley mistakes. He makes you pass him. He makes you basically beat him. He gives you pressure when you are serving, so you have to play well.

Q. He gave you a bit of encouragement with all those doublefaults in the first two sets.

TOMMY HAAS: Well, it doesn't give you any help - the score, definitely, but you rather -- I rather play. I like to play tennis. I like rallies. I like to show something; make yourself feel good; have nice rallies and you don't have that when you play against a big serve and volleyer so, it is a little different.

End of FastScripts….

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