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June 29, 2009

Tommy Haas


T. HAAS/I. Andreev
7-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Tommy Haas. Questions, please.

Q. That was a very convincing win. Everything went perfectly for you today.
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, pretty smoothly. I mean, you know, definitely wasn't going to underestimate him one second. Getting to the fourth round, he's a very tough player. He's beat me quite handily last time we played in Davis Cup in Moscow on clay. That was definitely some motivation for me to revenge myself.
And in the first set I think I only had one break chance. Didn't really utilize that. A little bit frustrating. But the tiebreak was very important. Luckily I was always ahead, even though I didn't convert my first two set points at 6-4, but managed to win the set. Kind of relaxed a little bit more after that.
Served extremely well. I think I didn't give him many opportunities on my serve. And I think that was really the key to not give him that kind of confidence to break me and then maybe even play looser himself.

Q. Quiz question first: Do you know who the last 30-year-old to win Wimbledon was?
TOMMY HAAS: To win Wimbledon?

Q. Male. Do you think can you do it?
TOMMY HAAS: Well, I'm 31, so I don't know. Last 30-year-old? Not sure.

Q. Arthur Ashe in '75. It's quite a leap.
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I mean, you know, age is really just a number in many ways. But obviously, I mean, I know that I am 31. I have a little bit more miles in my legs than maybe some other players that are younger than me.
Once you're out there, I think you leave that all behind and just go out there and compete and try to win.

Q. How have you kept going? Any secret to it?
TOMMY HAAS: Well, I mean, I was injured a lot, so that kind of has helped, because I was forced to be on the sideline too many times for my liking. So maybe there's some time left. You know, if you still continue to play well and have some success every now and then, I mean, this is what you play for.
I mean, you know, if you would have told me maybe even two months ago that I was gonna maybe get to the quarters of Wimbledon, I wasn't gonna be that sure about it. This is so far a fantastic run no matter what happens from here on out. Really happy and pleased to make it to the Elite 8 club, whatever you call it here. So that's really nice.

Q. It's been a good season on grass, hasn't it, after the win in Halle? Feeling comfortable on the surface?
TOMMY HAAS: Well, I mean, I'd be lying if I said no now. Sure. You know, kind of kick started a little bit at the French. I haven't played there in a long time. Played some good matches beating a couple good players there. Came close to maybe beating Roger. I lost anyway, which was fine. I was really happy about the way I played.
In Halle, everything just kind of came together really well. You know, I mean, I couldn't have asked for anything more during that week on home turf, which was great.
You know, I obviously took that high with me here. You know, just every match trying to keep doing the things that have been working for me.

Q. Everybody is talking about the grass slowing down. If this tournament continues on form through this week, it seems to have the most number of aces ever recorded by men in a Grand Slam. Surprise you or...
TOMMY HAAS: Uhm, I think if it's like it was on Saturday and like it's today with the heat, you know, I think it plays much faster, for sure. As soon as it gets cloudy and a little colder, maybe like 14, 15, Celsius, it does play slower, I think. It might be a little bit tougher.
You know, it's still a grass court, so it's still gonna be faster than other surfaces in some ways. But also you have seen in the last couple of years for sure that guys that like to play from the baseline, they play with a lot of spin, are good on their legs, have had success here. You know, you can even see it this year again with people being very comfortable that way.
It has slowed down. I mean, I played here, you know, back in '96 or '7. You can't compare it the way it is now.

Q. You mentioned before that you've been out, you're in, how quickly things can change. You find yourself in the Elite 8. You had Roger down two sets in Paris. It seemed that he was sort of settling into the No. 2 spot. Now if he wins this tournament after what happened in Paris he'll be No. 1 again. Is that something that surprises you at all, how quickly things can turn around in this sport?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I mean, that's just the name of it. That's how it works in this sport especially. You know, obviously has helped Roger that Nadal is not playing here, you know, that he's injured. You know, I mean, Nadal, anywhere he goes, is also a favorite to win the tournament, just as Roger is.
On clay, everybody it was quite surprising the early exit. The early exit fourth round for Rafa. For him it was an early exit, I would say. Was surprising. Now it helped, you know, for Roger to obviously win the French, which he absolutely deserved. Probably goes down now as the greatest player of all time because he did so.
And, like I said, Nadal not playing here and being now for sure the favorite to win this tournament, he deserves to be back to No. 1. You know, if you win these big tournaments back to back, which he hasn't done yet, but if he does, then that's how it goes.

Q. Is there a question about that greatest of all time on the basis that he's had not a great record against Nadal, who is his closest peer in his age group?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, you know, you can look at it in many ways. In that aspect I guess, you know, you have definitely something to discuss, talk about, and maybe, you know, say that's really one of the only things that didn't go his way.
But overall, what, he's not even 28 yet and he's already equaled Pete. We'll see what happens here for him in the next three, four years. I mean, he really has never been injured. So, you know, after his career, there's probably not many people can say that he's not.

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