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An Interview With: Tommy Haas

Monday, August 31, 2015

Q. Can you just talk about the match? Did you feel that you just didn't have enough matches under your belt coming into the Open to outlast Verdasco in a five-set match?

TOMMY HAAS: That's partly one of the reasons, sure. You know, what you need is a lot of matches to get match fit, you know, especially when you've been out for over a year again. Certainly try to get that, but wasn't too successful in the past two weeks of doing that. Then, yeah, lost a lot of gas there obviously. Mid, end of the fourth set showed unfortunately as well. Tough to compete that way.

Q. You were quoted prior to the tournament that this possibly could be your last US Open; played 17 of them, more than anyone in the draw?

TOMMY HAAS: Yeah.

Q. What do you like best about this tournament?

TOMMY HAAS: I mean, the excitement generally. It's a Grand Slam, New York City. It's excitement. It's the last slam of the year. It's very special to be here, obviously. Looking up as a kid, it's one of the big four you want to do really well in. It's been a privilege playing here 17 times. If I didn't have injuries could have been couple more. Happy to have been here again. Who knows? Might have been my last match. Obviously would be great to be back here next year, but it's a long way to go. With the history of my body, who knows if I make it back?

Q. Coming into this slam, ten teenagers in the draw, first time there has been that many in many years. Over the course of your career, have you ever seen a time where there has been more teenagers in contention at this level, and do you have any theories as to why how that could be?

TOMMY HAAS: I don't know. I don't look at those statistics. I played here the first time when I was 18. I don't know how many teenagers were in the draw in '96, '97. Not that I really care, but it's good to see. Happy for them. There are some young kids. I actually played a guy that I am almost 20 years older a few weeks back. It's going to be a lot of fun watching these guys play in the future. And, you know, couple of American kids coming up, which is great for you guys, as well. Good teenagers. Should be some exciting times ahead.

Q. You played for so long. Who do you think is the best player you have ever played against, and stroke-wise, who do you think had the best forehand, backhand, and serve?

TOMMY HAAS: Ah, I mean, the obvious -- I would have to say best server I ever faced was probably Pete Sampras. Best player, Roger is up there, for sure. I think he's the greatest of all time. You know, the results speak for that, as well. A lot of great competitors out there, though. I think playing against Rafa is one of the most physically challenges out there. Djokovic, Murray, they make it -- what they have done physically and also, you know, defensively with the shots, it's a whole new level. You know, it's been a privilege obviously. I think Agassi is still one of the best strikers I have ever played against. When you see him hit the ball today, just hitting the ball in general, I think he's still one of the best strikers. So it's been great playing against so many generations. It's been great, and I hope to have a few more first six months next year and see what else is out there for me. It's been a fun ride.

Q. And you have such a great backhand yourself. Andre, Guga, Murray, Djokovic, who would you pick for the best one-handed or two-handed?

TOMMY HAAS: I don't know. It's tough to say who has the best one-hander or two-handed backhand. Top guys, top level of the game, you have to give the edge to them obviously because they are doing something right. There is a lot of beautiful one-handers out there with Gasquet, I think, Wawrinka, Almagro, even this guy Lyovic (phonetic)I think has a beautiful one-handed backhand. You need more than that, but there is a lot of great players out there, of course.

Q. How do you think the game has changed the most in your era, in your period of playing?

TOMMY HAAS: I don't know. I mean, a lot of things have changed with technology. Seems like sometimes the surfaces are a little bit slower, balls are getting heavier. Tough to really play really aggressive game these days, in my opinion. It's gotten a lot more physical, obviously. Everybody is getting more fit, bigger and stronger and hitting with more velocity, more spin and heavy. So it seems to just be a lot of pounding out there physically. It's getting very hard.

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