March 22, 1998
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
Q. What makes the difference today if you compare this match with the last match that you had against Rios in the U.S. Open?
TOMMY HAAS: I think the only difference is a couple of big points. Today he broke me in the first set, then I had breakpoint again to come back in the first set and I missed an easy slice return. Those kind of shots you can't afford. Second set I was up 2-1, had 3 breakpoints, and actually kind of easy overhead to put away. Obviously, I only missed it by a couple of inches and the game is gone and your whole momentum, mentally you change. If you make that point you are up a break 3-1 and you are pumped to go maybe win the second set. Same thing happened at the U.S. Open when we were in the fifth set. I had a breakpoint in the first game. Can't take that chance. And breakpoint at 1-All in the fifth. Didn't use that one either. So, like I say, it is just a big points. That makes the difference between the good players and the ones that are still behind 50, 60s.
Q. Do you feel some kind of friendly competition with Nicolas Kiefer as trying to be the next great German player?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, trying to get to know each other much more. We have been spending some time in Scottsdale, in Palm Springs, and now here we had some German Davis Cup training. And we are both looking forward to play maybe for the Davis Cup, which is next week.
Q. Are you similar personalities in any way?
TOMMY HAAS: No, I think we are all different.
Q. What about your friendship with Marcelo?
TOMMY HAAS: He comes down to the academy a lot. We practice down there once in a while. Obviously, he bought a place there, so, you know, we don't talk too much. But we get along.
Q. Did you play golf against him?
TOMMY HAAS: Not that I remember. Maybe one time with Nick Bollettieri and some coaches. Yeah, maybe it was a couple of months ago, maybe.
GREG SHARKO: Who was the better golfer.
TOMMY HAAS: I don't play golf anymore. I quit. So I think he is.
Q. Second set, Love-40, Rios serving.
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, 2-1.
Q. You missed a chance to break him. Then you lost your --
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah.
Q. -- serve --
TOMMY HAAS: Almost the same, you can't take any chances, next person has the next chance and he takes it right away. If I win that game, I am up 3-1 and have the chance to go up a break. So, like I say, the big points --
Q. I think he is a very smart player, Rios.
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, definitely.
GREG SHARKO: Anything else?
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