home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 3, 2007

Tommy Haas



Q. They always say these long matches come down to just a handful of points, maybe just one point. Can you go over the lob point with us a little bit.
TOMMY HAAS: I don't think it's what they say. I think it's true. Every time you play one of those matches in five sets, it always comes down to one or two points that really decide the match.
Yeah, what can you say? I mean, the whole fifth set was very dramatic. I think we both played unbelievable tennis in the fifth set. I think it was a lot of winners from both sides. I got the early break, had a chance to maybe go up a double break at 4-2. Missed a backhand. It was quite tight. I asked for a challenge. The referee didn't hear me.
I said forget it and then he wins the game. I knew if I don't get my first serves in he's going to try to attack me. Sure enough he did. He came up with some great shots to break me back.

Q. When you hit the second lob at 3-3, did you know it was going to be a winner?
TOMMY HAAS: They both felt well. That point, I don't remember how it actually started, how he came to the net the first time. I know the first one was kind of just like a reaction. You know, he made a hell of a get. The ball kind of like curved back into deep.
I just hit the slice backhand. He came in. I don't know. I just felt like, okay, let's try it again. It went over his head again and went in. What a point, yeah. I think if I would have lost that point, the crowd would have gone absolutely ballistic. That might have given him an extra edge, the adrenaline to maybe -- who knows. I mean, it's over.

Q. Do you think earlier in your career maybe getting down and having him playing as well early would have thrown you off? Maybe the way you came back in this game shows what you've learned.
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, over the years I think I've learned anything is possible in five sets. Last year I played two back to back actually five-setters, winning 7-6 in the fifth. Kind of kept in the back of my mind to stay calm here, even against James here today.
But in general, he started off pretty well. I thought it was a little bit windy out there. It was my first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium. He played every match on it. It's a little different for guys that come and play there for the first time. It's such a big stadium. Very overwhelming at times.
I got into a little bit of a groove, played well the second set. In the third I felt like I got a break I thought shouldn't have happened, missing a couple easy balls. He's so tough and takes his chances quite well. I kind of got into a groove then in the fourth set, winning eight games in a row. That gave me a lot of confidence.

Q. Could you speak about the emotion of having the last point be subject to replay? You sort of made a slight smile, but it was hard to read the emotion. Did you know when to celebrate?
TOMMY HAAS: I mean, it was tough 'cause the first match point I had, I mean, he kind of miss-hit his return, but it was a little bit slow. I felt like I could have hit the volley. I let it go because I was a little bit nervous. It dropped so close to the line. Then I challenged it. It was in by, I don't know, one millimeter or something.
I hit my serve. It felt pretty good. I looked at the line. When I came to the net, he kind of said, I have to challenge it. I looked to the mark. Kind of looked like it was in. We kind of just exchanged smiles, because what else can you do in this certain time? Obviously then when the ball was in, I'm not going to celebrate like crazy right in front of him.
It was good enough anyway that the ball was good, so...

Q. Three match points to defend. You were very aggressive on all three. Is that just experience, veteran player out there?
TOMMY HAAS: Maybe a little bit, sure. I mean, I really couldn't find too many first serves, I think, at the end of the match that I wanted to. Every time he had match point, what was it three, I came up with a good first serve. That saved me, too.
I just kept thinking, kept telling myself, try to get to 5-All, maybe then I can calm down again a little bit and relax on his service game. You know, 5-6, the same thing. I said, Let's try to get to a tiebreak. You never know what can happen.

Q. You bounced back from so many injuries in your career: Shoulder recently, abdominal muscle. How do you kind of keep going back to coming back from injuries?
TOMMY HAAS: You don't really have a choice sometimes. Sometimes I wonder, you ask yourself questions like why does it happen again. With the shoulder, obviously that's a different story. Having two shoulder surgeries, a severe injury, actually being able to play at such a high level again, finding myself back playing with the best, that's obviously, I mean, something I was hoping for after I had 15 months of no competition, having a severe injury.
You know, obviously being back and playing tennis is the No. 1 and most important thing, being healthy. So if the shoulder starts giving up sometimes, you know, I just really try to deal with it, try to do the best I can to maintain it.
But when you have other injuries or when you get one like looking forward to play Roger in the fourth round of Wimbledon, the match before you get like a stomach tear that's so severe that you can barely walk, then having to withdraw, take another three to four weeks off, not being able to play a couple matches before big tournaments, it's tough.
But when you've been through a little bit of that already in the past couple of years, you know, you just try to deal with it, which is not always very easy, but you have no choice.

Q. What were you thinking in the fifth set tiebreak? Did you feel nervous or you tried to play more aggressive or more safe?
TOMMY HAAS: You know, you just try to make him play, and when you have a chance, you kind of try to go for it. You're not trying to give easy points away, which we both did right away. He missed a forehand quite easily. I had a volley sitter. I missed it. You know, we both know, I mean, this is going to be it after the tiebreak.
You know, any time you play such a close match, you're out there for over three hours, that's the one thing in tennis, you're pretty much by yourself afterwards. You have to deal with the loss. It's tough. It takes a couple days to, you know, settle down and stuff.
You know, it's not like it's a team effort and you can, whatever, blame it on somebody missing the last shot or something.
But it's hard. Obviously for the winner, it's always such a great feeling.

Q. Do you like the fifth-set tiebreaker as opposed to playing it out?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I do. I think every Grand Slam should have it.

Q. It is part of your game plan to approach shots to James' backhand side, get to the net. Do you feel like you executed that? Was it a big key?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I think so. It's something I have to improve in my game anyway. Try to be aggressive from the baseline, every once in a while come in. I feel like if I have a good look at the volley, I can make something happen. Putting pressure on the opponent always is a good thing.

Q. James told us a moment ago that after he had his injuries and family tragedy, when he was making his comeback, that he looked at you or looked to you as kind of a role model or inspiration for making that work. My question is, were you at all aware of what he was going through?

Q. And did you have any feeling of empathy?
TOMMY HAAS: No, of course. I mean, you know, I appreciate his comments on that obviously. It's a great compliment. You know, I'm the same about him. I mean, what he has done after his comeback, as well. It's phenomenal.
Both of us playing at this level again, playing in front of an unbelievable crowd. I mean, it's as good as it gets for us. I know one of us had to lose today. I think we both can be very proud of what we've achieved after going through something I think many people can't imagine.

End of FastScripts
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297