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August 12, 1998

Tommy Haas


TOMMY HAAS: I played a pretty good match. It seemed like everything I wanted to do most of the time worked. And in the first, I got a bad start, so 4-Love, 5-Love, so kind of gave away the set a little bit And then in the second set, I had a lot of opportunities every time to break him right away; three break points in the first game and one in the second, and I was up Love-30 in his service games, and I could not use any of those chances. So I was very pleased with myself to stay calm and hold myself because usually I can't take it when I cannot use any breakpoint opportunities, especially in the beginning of a second set when you are on a roll because then you can close it out and finish the match for sure, and especially against Albert Costa, who is known as good fighter, and obviously, he knows how to play tennis. He wants to use his chance so I'm glad I was able to use my chances of 3-All and served well.

Q. When you get a tough start in a set like that, does it actually help -- does it keep your concentration, you may --

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, just like I said, it's very hard when you cannot use those breakpoints because you're on a role and you want to keep on playing like this and you don't want to let him back into the match. I think it was (inaudible) in the second and Love-30 on my serve, so if he wins that game we might be still playing out there right now. And it could have been very tight. So it's good that you stick with him, even the second set, and you get your chances again.

Q. You beat Courier and Costas back-to-back. Are you feeling like you've got a pretty good week shaping up here?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I feel good. I'm playing well. Who knows what's going to happen. Tomorrow I play against Larson. I played him like in Davis Cup but the match didn't count anymore. It was already 3-1. But he's a good player. If I play well and he plays well it should be a good match. It's very open. And even the next round, I look ahead already Moya lost today so it's Golmard, and then either Tarango or Johansson. So one of us is going to go to the semis so I hope I will fight and do my best to try to take a spot since it's available.

Q. Has this year been all you expected seems like you had good results?

TOMMY HAAS: I think I played well the whole year basically but I scheduled it wrong, some parts. Especially the beginning of this year, I went to Holden Cup, which was a mistake and I couldn't play Sydney and qualifying. And couldn't go to (inaudible) because I was at Holden Cup, so I had -- so it was three weeks for nothing. Then after Davis Cup, first round, went the next day straight to Hong Kong which was wrong, too, because I had to fly so far I was very tired. No use of playing there. Then I got sick and I couldn't play in Monte Carlo. First it was Munich I'll play, and then you know you have Hamburg. And so I think it was a little bit wrong tournament scheduled for me but that's the way I have to learn them. I'm still young -- going on the road. So I try to change it next year, so other than that I'm very pleased with the way I played, especially in Germany.

Q. Have you been able to stabilize your ranking pretty much?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I've been stable, 39 or 44 doesn't make much difference. As long as I stay in the Top 50, I'm happy. Maybe, you know, the end of the year maybe I could get a little bit higher, it would be great. But I think I still have to learn some things on the court. But Michael Palmer is helping me a lot and it's been good.

Q. Is he your coach?

TOMMY HAAS: He's just an extended coach I'm using for now. Nick is not traveling so much any more. He's spending most of his time in the academy, coming to the big tournaments. So he's for now.

Q. Do you feel like -- do you feel like you played well or you've improved in a lot of facets over this year just -- even though, as you said, planned the schedule wrong?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I think I can always improve my game. And I think this is my second successful tournament since long time. Last week I played well, beating Santoro in the second round and played a very good match against Sampras I was very pleased with and beating Costas. I hope I can keep up like this and get in a little bit more shape for the U.S. Open and have a good time and just play.

Q. Talk about where you came from -- from next week. Next week you'll be in Indianapolis and you kind of made your tour debut there, kind of made a big splash. But did it all seem to come too quick for you or what do you feel like?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah I'd have to say it went pretty quick. That was like my first big tournament and right away I went to the quarters and lot of things with Pete Sampras. And then I kept on playing well. Then I had surgery on my left ankle for the second time. And then I was out a little bit again and then I played another big tournament in Hamburg when I went to the semifinals. So I went quick to the Top 100 and then I went quick to the Top 50. So I'm almost a year to the Top 50, so it's been pretty quick and pretty exciting to me to be able to play with all the big people to just try and get better and hopefully one day become a Top 10 player.

Q. In two years can you point to anything, more mentally or more physically?

TOMMY HAAS: I was 18 when I started. I mean, I had my strokes and my game pretty much but I was still not in top shape and just pretty much a newcomer who had a great we're week in Indianapolis. But I could not keep it up week after week and that's what makes a big player. You have to play each week pretty much with and some strength. Some play 35 weeks and they are in the Top 40 and some people play 17 weeks and they are in the Top 10. So some people are different than others. So I'm not a player who will play week after week like the Spanish players do, play one week after another and just place in semifinals. So I think I would schedule like 20 tournaments a year and play the rest and that's the way I am.

ATP TOUR REP: Anything else? Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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