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September 30, 1999

Tommy Haas


ITF: Questions for Tommy, please.

Q. What about your odds for the tournament, for the event all together? Secondly, did you feel he was flat, drenched, tired?

TOMMY HAAS: Well, each and every match is extremely difficult. I still don't know who's going to be my opponent, Lapentti or Enqvist. Both are good. On the other hand, I think I played one of my greatest matches ever. You don't beat a No. 1 every day. I'm extremely satisfied.

Q. Did you feel he was off his form today or a bit tired?

TOMMY HAAS: Well, my serve was good today. Right in the first set, he had to find his rhythm first. Took him some time to play his tennis. In the second and third he was clearly better. It was great tennis, good rallies, some inhuman shots, I'd have to say. Then, as I said, I think it was one of my best matches, and I deserved to win.

Q. Did you think it was going to be that easy in the first set when you were winning 6-Love?

TOMMY HAAS: Doesn't matter how you win the first set. You can win 6-Love or 7-6. You still have to win the match. As you can see, it got very tight after that. In the second set, I had a few chances. In the tiebreak, I made a few unforced errors. He beat me pretty bad in the tiebreak. Then you start thinking, "What about the third set?" Got up an early break. He broke right back. You start wondering if you can win the match or not. Just served out really well, hitting a couple of aces in every service game. But, yeah, yesterday I was thinking I'd just have to wait and see how he'd play. Obviously it was his first match since the US Open. That's why maybe I thought I had more chances than maybe if I would play him in the semis or the finals.

Q. Did you think it was going to be that easy? You almost made it look like it was easy beating the No. 1.

TOMMY HAAS: Like I said, the first set doesn't mean anything. You have to win the whole match. I don't think after all it was that easy. He came back and he fought strong, just as the way I did. I can only say I'm very happy that I won against him for the second time. It's always an honor to play somebody that I looked up to. He was at the academy a long time ago when I was picking up balls for him when he was practicing. Today I played against him in a big match. That's special.

Q. Did you take some time out in the second or did you keep your level and he got stronger?

TOMMY HAAS: Well, 7-6 is not really an out. It was tight, the second set. I tried to close the match, but somebody didn't want this to happen, and I did it in the third.

Q. Did you hear all this fuss and business before or did you not notice it, everybody waiting to see whether Steffi would be sitting in the hall? Were you bothered or couldn't be bothered?

TOMMY HAAS: Now, look, if his girlfriend has the opportunity to be here, she would have come. Maybe she had other things to do, to attend to. She must have been busy, otherwise she would have watched her boyfriend playing. I didn't really think about it really. Once you're on the court, you think about tennis. I suppose the same was for him. You try to stay focused and win the match. This is what you're talking about, isn't it?

Q. You said you picked the balls up for him. Still today you played as if you had no respect at all. How can you manage that? You have no fear or respect for him?

TOMMY HAAS: I've known him for a while. I've been on the Tour for a couple years. No respect? I respect his tennis. He has had the greatest year of us all, two Grand Slams, Wimbledon finalist. He did everything you can do in tennis this year. I respect this very, very much. He's a great personality and player. I'm even more happy to have beaten him here in Germany. This is something really and truly special.

Q. What about this return he played?

TOMMY HAAS: I think he's the only one. This is a shot from another planet. Only he does shots like this. I think I must have been waiting for that to come one day because when he has the right timing, these returns are something that he will play, you know that. It doesn't work every time. Everything has to come together. But I had a few nice points, I think.

Q. To what extent do you need the break tomorrow? It will be best-of-five at the weekend. You did it last year. What about your battery, is it empty?

TOMMY HAAS: No. I'm going to recharge it tomorrow. Let's see. Four or five sets, it depends on who I'm going to play. Something can happen in four or five sets. That's true. I'm glad about this break tomorrow and I'll try to recharge my batteries. Let's see what happens on Saturday.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TOMMY HAAS: If there's a plug, I'll show you how you can recharge a battery. No, I'm going to the Oktoberfest tonight and relax a little bit, then we shall see. It's going to work, some way or another.

End of FastScripts….

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