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March 16, 2007


3-6, 6-3, 7-6

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously a very eventful match. Just tell us your perspective of it.
TOMMY HAAS: Of how I feel or about the match?

Q. How you feel and where you think the difference was.
TOMMY HAAS: Well, obviously I don't feel great right now. You know, it's a tough loss to accept, especially when you have match points. It's hard, you know, I thought I was pretty much in control of the match. In the beginning I felt pretty good. You know, he took an injury timeout, I think, which is fine. And then I had that little problem there, I think at 2-0, which made me actually kind of nervous for him because I've had some problems in the past and twisted my ankle and things like that. So you always worry about your opponent and want to make sure he's fine.
It seemed like he wasn't fine there for a while, but then, you know, I guess nothing really big turned. It didn't turn out to be that big of a deal. Got a little bit unlucky in the first couple days of the second to get a break and didn't break back. That was, you know, coming down to the deciding set, and, you know, got down on a break, broke back, and it was pretty exciting stuff. I just didn't use my chance with the match point. Got to make that shot to win matches.
But, you know, it's definitely a good learning experience playing him for the first time for next time.

Q. Was it distracting when an opponent has had a long timeout with injury and the match has been broken up like that and then you restart and he's moving okay? Does that thing go through your head? Is it distracting for you?
TOMMY HAAS: A little bit. You know, like I said, it looked like he was actually hurt, you know, so, you know, you wonder if he's gonna be okay. Then the first couple points you see how they move or react. You know, I guess it seemed to be -- seemed to be all right for him.
So then you just focus on playing the match again so you don't worry about it for too, too long. You know, you just have to deal with it.

Q. So you were able to refocus quite quickly and get on with?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I tried to have. I would have like to break him back. I had a few chances. He broke a string. I didn't make him play on the one shot. So got a little bit un lucky on a couple of Deuce points when he was serving. Yeah, I didn't have a chance to break him back in that second set, and then, you know, anything's possible in the third so...

Q. What was the matter for you at the end? Was it cramps?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, my left quads for some reason kind of cramped up. I guess, you know, I'm in great shape, so I kind of just wanted the win really bad. You know, I think all the emotions and everything kind of came in play, and, yeah, sometimes when you get too overexcited or too into it, your body can sometimes act up weird.
So that was a little bit of a surprise. And it's unfortunate, but it still doesn't mean that I didn't have my chance to win the match. So it's too bad.

Q. What is it about his game that makes him difficult to play?
TOMMY HAAS: Well, for one, he moves really well. He knows where to be most of the time. But it's actually incredible how slow he plays. I was very surprised at times. You know, it's almost sometimes like a couple of rallies are almost -- you think you're back in the juniors.
And the balls get really heavy here. It doesn't play as fast at night as it does during the day. It's a little bit of a disadvantage for me tonight, you know. Every time I'd go forward, he has a better chance to get to the balls and he kind of just notices it or he sees it, when you're actually coming in, and then he goes first shot and comes up with some great passing shots every once in a while and on big points.
It's something I didn't expect, but for next time, it's gonna be good to know.

Q. You were quite successful at saving breakpoints. I think you served 11 out of 13, where he tends to get a little bit defensive?
TOMMY HAAS: You think he was offensive any time else?

Q. Sorry?
TOMMY HAAS: Do you think he was offensive at some other points during the match?

Q. I think he was, but my question is --
TOMMY HAAS: I don't think he was. He plays very defensive. That's his game. He plays slice, he moves around the ball, but there's very few times he goes for it, or, you know, he occasionally hits big backhand or goes for a forehand. But pretty much when it's in the rally, he kind of tries to let the other opponent maybe force an error, but he doesn't really play offensive.

Q. So you didn't notice any change in his tactics when it was breakpoint up?

Q. At the end of the match, you had some exchange with him. Could you tell us what was said?
TOMMY HAAS: With what.

Q. You had some exchange of words with the umpire. What was it about? You were disappointed?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I think it was in the game at 4-All, he gave me just a warning for time violation, you know. The walk to the tower takes like 15 steps. Sometimes I guess you get around 25 seconds. But he gave me a warning and, you know, I would have liked for him to just tell me to speed it up or just let me know.
So I was thinking 4-All, Deuce to just give me a warning, it wasn't necessary. I think he's one of the best referees, so I was a little bit surprised. But no big deal.

Q. About 3-1 in the tiebreak when you went to the chair, you walked to the chair and then you took like a break.
TOMMY HAAS: I didn't really take a break. I just felt like my left quad was really tightening up. Yeah, I didn't know if I could actually serve on the next point.
And funny how it is, I mean, just standing around or walking, it's really bad. And you play points, and for some reason, you know, it's not as bad. So sometimes it's really weird to explain, but I just felt like I needed to walk there and see what my options were. So, you know, obviously I didn't have many options but to just continued to play.

Q. If you play next time, what will you change in your game?
TOMMY HAAS: I don't know. We'll see.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys.

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