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October 21, 2001

Tommy Haas

MODERATOR: Questions for Tommy.

Q. Great week for you. You must be absolutely delighted with the feeling you have at the moment.

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, definitely. It's been probably the most successful two weeks in my career. You know, winning a Masters Series was always a big goal of mine. You know, I wouldn't have expected to do it this week. You know, it happened at a great time. I'm really pleased.

Q. Before you won the title in Long Island, did you more or less count yourself out of reaching Sydney?

TOMMY HAAS: I didn't think about it too much really. I mean, I don't know what my race position was at the time.

Q. Twenty-four.

TOMMY HAAS: Something like that. Really even coming to Moscow, the first indoor tournament, didn't think about it too much. I knew something extremely well needed to be done. I'm still not there a hundred percent. I'm not still thinking about it too much. I'm just enjoying the way I've been playing, my great results. That's more important at the moment.

Q. You won a lot of matches this week from a set down. Is this something which has come as you're getting older and more mature or something you've been working on?

TOMMY HAAS: I think it has to do with everything a little bit: more experience, being more mature, maybe controlling yourself a little better on the court. You can't always know how you're going to respond. Also depends on how you feel inside, I think. If you happen to win a couple of big points in the match, you know, you always have a chance, you always get your chance. If you can use it, you know, I think that's the key of winning some matches.

Q. Was there anything specifically that turned your year around just before the US Open?

TOMMY HAAS: Well, I've been struggling a little bit. Beginning of the year was good, then I was switching a couple coaches here and there. I think it's tough. It's like you go through a new relationship again, getting to know the person, he needs to know what you like. It's not always that easy, even though I had a pretty good three, four months at the beginning of the year. Kind of didn't win a couple matches on clay that I maybe should have won. You lose a little confidence. I got a little bit injured where I couldn't play in Key Biscayne. I was off for three, four weeks where physically I went down a bit. You know, then I was really struggling a little bit. By the time Wimbledon came around, really was a little bit worried what I wanted to accomplish, what I wanted to do. When I went back to Bollettieri Academy with Red and Nick, they really motivated me. I enjoyed playing a lot again. We just totally erased the past and went week for week. That's I think the thing you have to do. You can't always look behind and see what could have happened. You have to take it day by day and play when you have to play.

Q. There's a possibility, maybe more than a possibility, that this tournament may move out of Germany next year. What would your thoughts be on that? Do you find playing in a big tournament in Germany is an inspiration to you or is it a bit of a burden?

TOMMY HAAS: For me, obviously this year I would be very sad now if it would leave. The support that I've got the last two, three days really pushed me through some of the matches - against Henman and against Arazi and Hewitt - always being down. The crowd really kept me alive. Couple of kids screaming, getting the people excited, really it's a good feeling. I really enjoy playing in Germany. You know, we don't have that many big tournaments, obviously. We have Hamburg. They're thinking about moving to another city. You know, now with Stuttgart, even though I haven't been playing my best tennis here in the past, I wanted to show the people I can play pretty well indoors, now especially winning a tournament. It would be nice if I can try to defend it next year here in Stuttgart.

Q. There was still quite a few empty seats in the stadium. Was that a disappointment to you as a German playing a big final here?

TOMMY HAAS: No. There was maybe one corner that wasn't fully filled. All the other people were into it. Even the last couple days it was very exciting for me to play in front of a crowd like this.

Q. At what point did you suddenly realize that Sydney was beckoning, that you could possibly get there?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, well, I mean, I think when I reached the finals here, I thought, I don't know, I got to No. 8 or something. Every time I talk to the press afterwards, they tell me I'm No. 8, No. 10. I didn't really follow it myself. I don't know how many points I've ahead and who is still -- I think I a lot of guys are still contending. I have to reach No. 7, obviously, since Ivanisevic will most likely take the No. 8 spot. I'm just going to play St. Petersburg, Paris, try my best in those two tournaments. If it happens to be enough to be able to go to Sydney, it would be a dream come true for me to go to the Masters. If not, I had a great indoor season and great end of the year.

End of FastScripts....

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