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June 26, 2008

Tommy Haas


T. HAAS/T. Robredo
6-4, 6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Tommy.

Q. Can you give us your impressions? Do you feel like you're on a roll at the moment?
TOMMY HAAS: I wouldn't say on a roll, to be honest. I didn't play much tennis before the grass court season started. Halle was my first tournament. You always kind of are anxious to see how it goes right away.
I was pretty happy with my performance there. Coming in here not really having played that much, you're always kind of worried about how you play in the matches because you can practice for quite a long time, but match practice is something you can't practice.
Going out there and actually competing, trying to do it out there on court is very important. It's rewarding so far, so I'm feeling pretty good.

Q. Physically how are you?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, right now everything is quite good. That's why I'm out here playing. You know, usually if I'm not playing, that means something is wrong, unfortunately. So right now everything is good. I'm happy to be back here.

Q. Is it a situation where you erase the thoughts that something might crop up because you've had such a run of bad luck or take whatever comes, it's a bonus?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, in some sort of way. I'm happy that right now I'm injury-free, that I'm capable of playing some of my best tennis, that it's at this time here in Wimbledon.
Happy to be in the third round, looking forward to my next match. Most of all, just trying to stay away from injuries, hope that the shoulder will hold up a couple more years.

Q. Xavier said he has seen you putting the hard work in. He says you have a great chance against Andy. How do you rate it?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, well, I think I'm gonna exchange a few words with Xavier either later tonight or tomorrow, because I couldn't see much of that match.
Obviously Andy puts a lot of effort into this tournament, as well. Because he -- everybody else in the tournament wants to do well here. Andy and I had some good matchups, actually twice in Indian Wells. Both times it was very, very tight.
Looking forward to a battle again.

Q. You served and volleyed a lot in your match today. Is that something you're trying to do more now that you're on the grass?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, it's something I think you have to put in the game, especially on grass. Even though it seems like it's a little bit slower than it was last week in Halle. I think it's a pretty good play to try and make the people pass you or come up with a good shot.

Q. Do you think you're still owed some years on the circuit because of the injuries that have taken so much away from you? Do you think you're owed something?
TOMMY HAAS: I don't know necessarily if it's owed something. I was gone for like 15 months there for a period and didn't know if I was ever gonna come back. Made it back briefly into the top 10, which I never thought was going to be possible.
I've, you know, much more succeeded my dreams after these surgeries than I thought I was capable of. So, you know, having another surgery end of last year really didn't help. I'm not the youngest guy out there, but I love the game of tennis. I love to compete.
As long as I'm healthy and I can go out there and play, all I want to do is give it my best and see where it takes me. That's all I can do.

Q. At the start of the year, what were your expectations for this season?
TOMMY HAAS: Not much, unfortunately, because I was doing a lot of rehab and I didn't even know when my season would start. Once I pushed myself to go out there and just try and see how the shoulder would react going out there and competing, it still took me a few weeks before I started playing some good tennis again, which was Indian Wells.
Then I got sick, started hurting my shoulder a little bit during the clay court season. I haven't really played that much tennis this year. I hope now for the rest of the season I'll just be healthy and I can compete and enjoy the game of tennis.

Q. Being your own best critic, knowing you've been a former world No. 2, how would you assess the actual level of what you're producing now and what you're still capable of producing?
TOMMY HAAS: I mean, I think it's really important. I'm really happy that I can still produce and get better in this game because, you know, it really challenges you. Every year I think the game is getting stronger and better.
I'm still happy after all that's happened to compete and be up there. Every once in a while I compete far in the tournament. That's really the main thing. I strive for that, try to compete hard and get better.
The only way to get better is if you're competing a lot and playing a lot of matches and learn from that. That's really my next step, trying to play a lot of tournaments.

Q. Do you ever get fed up of rehab?
TOMMY HAAS: Oh, yeah. There's times where you think you're just gonna maybe hang the racquet on the wall and say, You know what, spend your time doing something else, just give it a go.
But then again, you watch tennis, I'm a big tennis fan, it's such a good sport to compete in. I think you know when you're going to be done. I just don't feel that's happened to me yet.

Q. The rehab, when there's a chance now, a possible Centre Court with Andy Murray at Wimbledon, this is why you play?
TOMMY HAAS: Hopefully it will be Centre Court. I would love that. Last year I was in the fourth round here, supposed to play Roger. I tore my stomach muscle, couldn't really go out there and compete. I thought about staying around and just maybe walking out on Centre Court. I just really want to play there. That will be great.
Like you said, that's why you put the effort in, you dig deep a lot of times, have the family and friends, people supporting you. It's gonna be great.

Q. You turned the big 30 this year. You talked in the past about Andre Agassi doing so well into his 30s. Do you think you can be successful well into your 30s?
TOMMY HAAS: I'm going to give it a try. I don't know if I'm going to be as successful as Andre was. He had a game where he wasn't using his body running around. It's something I think a lot of people on the tour look up to, how Andre did it.
Even Pete Sampras was playing great tennis at the stage of 32. Even now you see a lot of people in the early 30s playing a lot of tennis. Even Bjorkman, Santoro, who knows how much longer they're going to be playing. It's definitely possible. You just play till you have success and enjoy it and still win matches.

End of FastScripts

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