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August 7, 2012

Tommy Haas


T. HAAS/D. Nalbandian
6‑2, 6‑7, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Tell us how you do it.
TOMMY HAAS:テつ How I do it?

Q.テつ Just coming off Washington and then now a tough first round here.テつ You've had a great summer.
TOMMY HAAS:テつ Yeah, I mean, basically just, you know, going out there and trying to play my best really.テつ Obviously not an easy transition right away.テつ No time to get used to conditions here.テつ Not much rest really.
But, you know, happy to be here in the first place, and I guess that's the main thing.テつ Once you step on the court, you try to see how it's going and try to win the match.
I think it was an exciting match today overall.テつ You know, entertaining to say the least.テつ A lot of chances there in the second set for me to maybe find a way to finish it off.テつ He came up with some good tennis and won the second set.
Then it was really a matter of just staying tough mentally and really wanting to win the third set.テつ I had to save some break points there early on in the third set; got the early break then to go up 3‑2.テつ That gave me the momentum again I think to finish it off.

Q.テつ Just talk a little bit about regrouping at the beginning of the third physically and mentally?
TOMMY HAAS:テつ Yeah, like I said, it's never easy when you're so close to the finish line and you have a couple opportunities and you go for that one passing shot, I think.テつ I thought almost the wind can swirl it back in, but it didn't.テつ Had a few other opportunities where I didn't really make him play.
Then on the other shots he really played some good tennis, kept the ball deep where I couldn't do much.テつ Yeah, you know, when you lose a set like that, it's tough to really stay with it mentally, especially coming off a long week last week.
Like I said, I think it was important to hold my own serve in the beginning and, you know, as soon as I had an opportunity to break, try to take it.
It was important to get that break at 2‑All I think mentally to sort of tell yourself, Okay, if I can just hold serve now maybe I can actually win this match.

Q.テつ Is there any difference in the way you play the game now, say, compared to ten year ago?テつ Would you have something that you do strategy‑wise on a certain point?
TOMMY HAAS:テつ No, I don't think so.テつ I mean, you know, you have to adjust every year.テつ I think it's very important to‑‑ I mean, I'm definitely going to say I've gotten wiser over the years.
But it's really only been the last four or five months that I'm really playing some high‑quality tennis again where I feel like I can pretty much still beat anybody.
You know, six months, nine months, twelve months ago that certainly wasn't the case.テつ Twelve months ago the same situation I am today, I didn't know how much longer I was going to play if I was going to continue to play like that.
So to be in the position I am now, you know, where it's like all of a sudden a lot of the times where I go in the match I feel like if I can just play my game and play well and stay physically and mentally strong, you know, I feel like I have good chances of winning the match.
So I'm happy to be in that position.テつ I'm definitely going to ride that wave.テつ But ten years ago, you know, it's a whole different ballgame.テつ Technology has changed.テつ The string has changed a lot.テつ The balls puff up depending on where you are.テつ Last week it was so humid and the balls got so big.テつ This week it's not so humid.
Courts seems very slow though at times.テつ I guess they were resurfaced five, six days ago, so a lot of different spins and variety you can use.
But, yeah, I just try to keep improving all the time.

Q.テつ When you won that Masters tournament against Hewitt a long time ago, that's when you got to No. 2 roughly, I think.
TOMMY HAAS:テつ A little bit later than that, but yeah.

Q.テつ What were you thinking the ideal future for you would be in terms things you would attain in tennis?
TOMMY HAAS:テつ What do you mean exactly?

Q.テつ Winning slams?
TOMMY HAAS:テつ When I beat Hewitt in Stuttgart Masters Series in Germany it was end of 2001; I had a great year 2002.テつ Starting in 2002 I started having should problems, but I did get to No. 2 that years.
Then my parents had a bad motorcycle accident and didn't get to play Wimbledon that year when I should have been seeded three there.テつ Hewitt won and Nalbandian got to the finals, so you could also play actually from the baseline.テつ You weren't forced to go su much maybe serve and volley.
But, you know, that end of year, you know, I felt like I had a great year, but I had shoulder surgery and was gone 15, 16 months.テつ That changed a lot my career.
And then after that when I came back, that was sort of the Federer, start of his dominance, you know.テつ I played him a few times in the slams.
Certainly was always my goal to try to win one of those when I was a kid.テつ But, you know, it wasn't to be that way.

Q.テつ We had Novak in here earlier talking about the challenge of transitioning from grass to hard court in such a short time frame.テつ Do you have any kind of advantage based on having a couple hard court matches under your belt now?
TOMMY HAAS:テつ I mean, I guess for here maybe you can say that, yeah.テつ I went from clay to grass, back to clay, coming back here, had three days off, going to hard court in Washington.テつ I mean, you just deal with it.テつ Not much you can do about it.テつ Once you're on the court you can cry about it or accept it and make the best of it.
It is a short transition.テつ It's something you look at the calendar and you know it's going to happen.テつ If you didn't want to have that short transition, you can pull out of Toronto just like many people did and get to the Cincinnati early and try to play a little bit longer on hard court.

Q.テつ I just want to sidetrack you for a little bit.テつ You talked about technology change.テつ You're one of the few players who probably played on the old situation here in Toronto.テつ Hawk‑eye, one the technologies that's used in tennis, is now here on the Grandstand court.テつ Has that had an impact on players and specifically their personalities?テつ Guys like Andy Roddick have calmed down.テつ It's really allowed fans and everything to become involved in the game more, too.テつ Do you think it's had that sort of impact?
TOMMY HAAS:テつ Yeah, I think so.テつ I think for the players it's just a good call because if you're uncertain about one call that might have ‑‑ in your eyes it could've touched the line or hit the line, you know you can challenge it if you still have one of those challenges left.
If it happens to be out, you can be at ease and accept that fact.テつ Obviously the conversations with the umpire maybe have gone away a little bit.テつ They sort of stepped back a little bit, and maybe less of the guys will overrule a call so they just let you challenge.テつ Because if they start overruling then you might challenge and they might be wrong.
So the conversations have left in some ways.テつ But I think for me personally or I think for many players it sort of takes that off your mind for the next point.テつ You don't think about it anymore.テつ Maybe it did or didn't touch the line.テつ You can talk about it two games later and wonder what would have happened if you had seen that mark; now you can.
It's great that it's on the Grandstand here.テつ No other tournament does it better than in Indian Wells.テつ You have it on every single match court, so doesn't matter if you don't play on center court or the second biggest court.テつ If you play on Court 4, 5, 6, you can challenge your calls, so that's fair for everyone.
That tournament really sets an example.テつ If you happen to play on Grandstand, and I hear it's the first year out on Grandstand, you can play a tough match there and it could come down to that situation where you wish you could have challenge but you don't get to.
It's like at Wimbledon you play on some of the outside courts and some close line calls, you might see the situation differently and you can't challenge, so it's tough.テつ That's why it's good to play bigger ones just to have that mindset.

Q.テつ Would you enjoy a day where Indian Wells is the common across all tournaments where it's on all courts at all times everywhere?
TOMMY HAAS:テつ I guess it's a matter of economics if you can do it or not.テつ The tournament owner there doesn't really have a problem with that.テつ He wants to make the players feel the most comfortable in any sort of way.テつ So they make it happen, and that's a great thing.
I think the players all appreciate that very much.テつ So I think all the big tournaments, if they can step it up and pretty much put it on all the match courts, I think that's the way to go for the future.

Q.テつ I am a travel writer, not a sports writer.
TOMMY HAAS:テつ Oh, that's nice.

Q.テつ Any special technique that you use to deal with the fatigue or the jet lag that you have to encounter traveling all over the world?
TOMMY HAAS:テつ Try to sleep as much as you can wherever you can.

Q.テつ That's it?
TOMMY HAAS:テつ I mean, you have your own little tricks.テつ If you go to Europe, you know the flight times and you know when you're arriving.テつ You already think ahead when you want to sleep on the plane and what you want to do when you arrive.テつ When you do it for 16, 17 years, I think every player that knows what works best for them.

Q.テつ Do you ever take anything special with you almost like an amulet or little something you never travel without?
TOMMY HAAS:テつ Yeah, I used to take more sleeping pills in the past.

Q.テつ I'm moving on from that.テつ Just anything special you'll never travel without?
TOMMY HAAS:テつ There is a lot of things that I need to travel with, such as...

Q.テつ Anything special, like...
TOMMY HAAS:テつ What's special to you that you travel with?

Q.テつ Like a lucky charm.
TOMMY HAAS:テつ No.テつ Oh, no, no.テつ I'm out of that age.

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