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September 4, 2006

Tommy Haas

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The first two sets you won 3 and 4, then he won. Then the fifth set, the tiebreak, you dominated. What happened in that tiebreak that was different from the rest of the match?
TOMMY HAAS: Tough to say really. I mean, I think we both knew that it's coming down, you know, to the guy that wins the first seven you know, seven points. I don't know, I was just really trying to, uhm, try to stay aggressive because that was kind of what helped me to get there.
I made some pretty good serves, some deep, long returns. Yeah, gave me a few unforced errors to also feel pretty good and confident to take the win.

Q. You always seem to bring the best out in each other when you play. Like this year and last year, long, five setters.
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, pretty much. We've had quite a few battles now. Always some good tennis is involved. Always actually very close. I think head to head now I'm 4 1. Even last year here, I think it was quite a good match where he got the better of me in the fifth set. You know, he was very close again of, you know, at 4 3 in the fifth, Love 40, he had three chances to break me and serve it out. I was thinking about that maybe he can win again 6 3 in the fifth.
Somehow I stuck in that game and, yeah, gave myself a chance to make it to the tiebreak. Yeah, really, really happy about the way I played there and stayed focus. I'm glad I got that one.

Q. Do you also have a good personal relationship?
TOMMY HAAS: Well, we get along. We're not on, you know, dinner basis or, you know, it's not like he visits me at where I live, or I visit where he lives. But he's a nice guy. We practice once in a while during the year. We get along well, yeah.

Q. How's your side?

Q. How's your side?
TOMMY HAAS: It's better now. I never really had something like that before, after that long rally at 5 All, I just was limited breathing. I couldn't take deep breaths. The doctor said it was kind of like maybe a short muscle strain. As soon as it took me about two or three minutes to get my pulse back to normal. Then it allowed me to take deep breaths again. It was fine.

Q. Are you the kind of player, does that make you focus more when you get an injury like that? Does it become a distraction?
TOMMY HAAS: First I worry about the injury and worry about my health a little bit. As soon as that gets back to normal, you know, you start worrying again about the match.

Q. You have Marat next. What kind of a challenge does he pose for you?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, it's tough. We actually gotten to know each other quite well the past, you know, six months. We been practicing a lot throughout the summer, as well. You know, he's a player you always have to worry about a little bit. You know, he's got a big game, big first serve. He goes for his ground strokes. When he's feeling good, you know, those balls come as fast as from anybody on tour.
He's really looking back on getting to the top, which his ranking doesn't really speak for the way he's playing. You know, he's won two Grand Slams so he knows what he's doing. We've always had pretty good battles, and, you know, it's gonna be a good match.

Q. Is it particularly tough to play a guy who one day may play like the No. 1 player in the world and another day could play like No. 500? He's just such an interesting player, you never know what you're going to get?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, you never really know. Exactly. I think I know what I'm gonna get because he's in the fourth round of a Grand Slam again. Like I said, he wants to get his ranking back up. He doesn't want to be where he's at right now. You know, he's gonna play tough, and he's been playing some good tennis. Beating Nalbandian here in the second round, and even today, three straight sets against Rochus. It's speaking for, you know, that he's playing some good tennis. He's geared up.
So it's gonna be hopefully a good match.

Q. Just one last thing. You said you've been playing with him a lot. What do you like about him, as a person?
TOMMY HAAS: He's got a great personality. I think he's quite funny. You know, we doing the same sports for a long, long time, so it's nice to have guys around that you actually get along with, so...

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