Interview after beating Kohli in semishttp://video.gerryweber-open.de/media.1256.2.122.html
Q: Congratulations. It seems to be that you get a little bit more support than your opponent. Is it because you are the older guy, the comeback-guy?
HAAS: Youíll have to ask the fans.
Q: What do you think?
HAAS: Maybe so. I mean Iím sure it has something to do with it. Hopefully, Iím here next year again and the following year and I can play for a long time to come. But if not they might recognize the fact that who knows what happened. Maybe they wanted to see me in the finals more than they wanted to see my opponent. I donít know. But obviously it felt good. But Iím sure it had something to do with the fact that Iíve been around for a long time and they are going to see a lot more of my opponent, Philipp Kohlschreiber, in the future.
Q: How good was it to come through that first set tiebreaker?
HAAS: I think it was very important. I think we both struggled reading each otherís serves and kind of getting into each otherís service games. When the tiebreak comes along you hope to play a pretty solid one. I didnít get off to a great start was down 4-1 with him serving. And I knew, god this could be very quick. So, I tried to be a bit more aggressive, was kind of going for it and it did pay off. Winning the first set helped me mentally for sure. So, it was very important.
Q: Considering that your daughter is not even two years old, how many years will you have to play for her to realize what you are doing?
HAAS: Thatís a good question. Do you have kids?
HAAS: I donít know. I think they have to be at least three, three and a half to understand what theyíre doing, maybe even a little bit older. So, I got a long way to go (laughs), unless she is maybe a little bit smarter than her father and she can realize things earlier than me. That would help. So, hopefully she has my wifeís brain.
Q: Youíre going to play Roger tomorrow for the third time here. Do you think it might be third time lucky and you get the win?
HAAS: That would be nice. I certainly will give everything I got and push for that. Thatís the goal obviously. We donít need to talk much about Roger, you know pretty much everything. So, all Iím going to do is try to play to my potential and give it my best and see if I can sort of beat him once again. Itís been a while.
Q: Considering that all the years cancelled because of injury can we say that tenniswise you are more 31 years old than 34?
HAAS: Iím twenty-nine and six months. But, yes for sure. If you count up all the injuries and times Iíve missed, itís four years, if not a little bit more, not being able to compete and play. But thatís life. Thereís definitely worse things. If I look where Iím today Iím pretty pleased.
Q: Put your hand on your heart: in the first set you didnít make one point on his serve until 6-5. Did you start doubting?
HAAS: You donít really think about that. I was more thinking about not being able to find a proper rhythm. He really served terribly well, mixed it up and also his second serves had so much sidespin and topspin that I either was on the ball too early or it spinned towards my body. I thought that it might take some time to find my way into the match. Then in the first set I realised that also three years and four years ago our matches went into the tiebreak in the third set and I realised how difficult it to return his serves here. Until the break at 5-5 I didnít have a lot of opportunities although I had a chance to break him at 2-2 when he served really well.
Q: Also at 4-4- you had a chance to break him.
HAAS: Yes, and I didnít do anything wrongly. He played very aggressively and fended off two first serves. But I think it was the same for him. Iím not sure he had a break chance on my serve. We both served well and had problems to return.
At 4-1 in the tiebreak I might have made two easy mistakes. I was 4-1 down on his serve and I knew if he was going to make the point and with changeover it was going to be difficult to come back. So I thought I should risk a bit. That is the great part of grass court tennis. Even if youíre 30-0 down you can quickly one or two points, get lucky or take a risk and get rewarded and youíre back in the match. I was aware of that but of course itís very satisfying that I won the first set.
Q: Philipp said that you were one of the guys, who takes an icecold risk at 30 all or when itís really close. Do you think that the upcoming German players lack this ability?
HAAS: I think everybody is a bit different. How many tennis players do we have? 1500, 1600 and everybody knows how to play really good tennis. It depends on the situation whether youíre relaxed or tense. You canít really train that. Some people Ė also the guy Iím playing tomorrow doesnít give anything away and I donít know for how long. That is the little difference which makes a huge difference in the end. My game has always been like that that I took a risk when it mattered. Iím not the kind of guy who plays the ball safely into the court when it matters.
Q: Apart from the fact that it is special that you have made it to the final, Roger Federer said that heís really happy for you because youíre also friends. So is it really special for you?
HAAS: Itís always great to play him. You also want to have another opportunity to maybe beat him again. I think if I can play to my limit and as well as Iíve been playing the last matches I might have a chance. Of course, heís the favourite. Thatís for sure. The last time we played each other was three years ago. We had two good matches in a row one at the French Open, fourth round and another close match in the semis in Wimbledon. Also off court, we get on really well. Tomorrow, weíll both want to win.
Q: Although it was a German encounter, the spectators were on your side. Tomorrow it will be similar although Federer is very popular. How important is it for you to have the support of the spectators although you are the underdog?
HAAS: That is great. Also today it was fantastic with the crowd shouting ĎTommyí. I wouldnít have expected that today against another German. These are also he moments I enjoy and why I keep on playing. I hope that I can play a really good match for the spectators tomorrow.
Q: Does this run remind you of 2009 a bit? Starting with Munich, then five matches including quali in Paris. 2009, it ended in the semis in Wimbledon. What do you think is possible now?
HAAS: We will see. In any case, Iím playing really good tennis, feel good on the court, physically Iím holding up great, that is important. For now, Iím just focussed on tomorrow. But we all know it all depends on the draw. Three years ago I also got lucky that I was in the top 32 and then even got seeded (19). Now Iím unseeded and might meet a really tough opponent in the first or second round. There are some four, five, six players you donít really want to meet but other than that you prepare yourself. Weíll see what will happen in Wimbledon. The court is a bit different to here. But, of course, Iím looking forward.
Q: You mentioned the fashion show tonight. Is that the preparation for tomorrow?
HAAS: It somehow came to my mind because of Gerry Weber and the fashion. Itís a huge event.
Q: Will you go?
HAAS: Yes, I think we even have to go there. Traditionally the finalists go on stage and answer a few questions.
Q: Roger has an unbelievable record against the Germans. He hasnít lost to a German in ten years.
HAAS: Who beat him last?
Q: Nicolas here in 2002. 49 victories in a row. What will you do to spoil his anniversary tomorrow?
HAAS: By making him not win his fiftieth match against a German. I just will have to play very aggressive, not let him dictate the points and take risks. I will discuss it with my coach tonight and then try to be alert from the first second tomorrow. A lot will have to go well tomorrow but why shouldnít it?