An interview after Tommy's win over A.Falla
Q. How surprised are you to be here after what recent history has been like for you?
TOMMY HAAS: I wouldn't use the word maybe surprised to be necessarily honest. Happy about it, that's for sure. Excited about it. You know, we can sit here probably pretty long and go through the last 16, 17 months again of my tennis career. You know, having a pretty tough surgery to come back from, it's never easy; and the hip is definitely it wasn't easy or is not easy. When you get a little bit older and you haven't been around for quite some time, and to re find your game once again it's quite a challenge that I took up once again because I still feel like I've got some good tennis in me and I want to try to start playing the sport on my own terms. So to be here in the third round once again is a great feeling.
Q. Does this comeback have a different feeling from the others?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, it does definitely. I don't know in what way yet. But, you know, I'm just certainly gonna try to just enjoy this tournament, try to get focused for my next match, and try to play better each time or try to play to my potential as much as I can and see where it takes me, and then, you know, re evaluate the situation after this tournament.
Q. Where do you feel your game is now?
TOMMY HAAS: It's tough to say exactly where I feel like it is. A lot of ups and downs the last eight tournaments I've played. Some matches I felt like I was improving, and then I played a couple matches where I felt like I wasn't. This tournament, you know, which means probably the most to me, you know, I've slowly improved. I think my first round match was pretty good at times. Still struggling in a few areas that I need to work on, but today I thought overall was a pretty solid match on my part. I'm pretty happy about that.
Q. When you sort of think about your career, do you feel unlucky? Is it something mechanical? Is it biological? How do you sort of make sense of what your career has been like from the injury standpoint?
TOMMY HAAS: You know, to be honest, when you're a young kid and you have a dream to become a tennis professional and you actually do it for a very long time, I'm very happy and very pleased. Yeah, you know, it's a tough sport. The sport getting more physical each year I feel like. Unfortunately I have had a few surgeries in my career or a few injuries that needed surgery, you know. It's unfortunate in many ways, but I've coped with it quite well. I've come back in better ways than I would have ever imagined. You know, now this, after this hip injury or surgery, you know, being a certain age, it's another challenge that I'm happy to take on as long as I can. I know that one day this tour life that I've always wanted to do is gonna be over, so I'm just gonna try and enjoy it as much as I can and keep playing if my body allows me to.
Q. How has having a family changed things for you?
TOMMY HAAS: It changes your life not only because I'm a tennis professional, but once you have more responsibilities and you look in your baby's eyes, you know, different thoughts come into your mind. It's probably one of the most wonderful things in anybody's life that it happens to. You know, it gives me another reason to work hard and try to achieve some things. You know, my long time goal would be nice if my daughter could watch me play tennis live which is gonna be hard because she's only nine and a half months. So that means I'm gonna have to be around quite some time. We'll see, you know. You have to have some sort of goals in life, and that's certainly one of them.
Q. Did you feel maybe you bought some time on the back end because you had so many years where you didn't put a lot of mileage on?
TOMMY HAAS: Sure. You know, if you count up all the months I've missed due to injuries or surgeries that I've had, I mean, I'm probably 29 years old really, you know, but like I said, you have to just take everything the way it is and make the best of it and go from there.
Q. Can you just give us an update on your citizenship? For a while seemed like you were bouncing around there a little.
TOMMY HAAS: I have two passports.
Q. Who are you representing? You're playing here as a German?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, just Germany right now. I thought about switching it over to the U.S., especially during this tournament, but, you know, I've had so many other things to think about lately with family and where my game is and if I am ready, a new coach, I'm looking for a physio. There are so many things I didn't have time to maybe focus on who I want to represent here. But I thought about it.
Q. What do you have to do? What's the process?
TOMMY HAAS: Just one phone call to the ATP and then that's it. They change it, no problem. I'm trying to see if they can put American/German, you know, like present two flags, but I don't think that's gonna happen.