Tommy Haas in an exclusive interview

  • For the primary time since 2010, the second week of the Australian Open will probably be held with out a German presence.
  • Tommy Haas commented on this in an interview.
  • In addition, the previous tennis participant will problem Alexander Zverev and identify his favorites on the Grand Slam event in Melbourne.

Sir. HaasWhat is particular concerning the Australian Open amongst Grand Slam tournaments?

Tommy Haas: In normal, a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam. All of them are crucial. For me as a participant, it was all the time an alternative to see if I had carried out my pre-season duties properly. In Australia, nearly everybody prepares for tennis in January. The followers are all the time nice. The German followers have all the time been properly supported, greater than some other Grand Slam. It’s only a “fortunate slam”. The climate is all the time good, however it may be too scorching right here and there. When it will get actually heat, it is like having a blow dryer in your face. Otherwise, resorts are near the location and Melbourne itself is a stunning metropolis.

You had been most profitable in Australia with three semi-final appearances. Can you inform me what was the important thing to this?

First, I all the time had the choice to start out over. Most of the time, the final races had been about two months in the past. The Rebound Ace rubber you used to play on the Australian Open was nonetheless there. The ball bounces a bit of increased on it and you’ll play very aggressive tennis. It was very well-rounded, and the blade went a bit of deeper. I all the time felt snug there. The Australian Open has all the time been a event the place we have tried to do quite a bit for the gamers and I actually loved that.

For the primary time since 2010, the second week of the competitors will probably be held with out the person participation of the Germans. Eight German gamers failed on the opening hurdle, Alexander Zverev continued in the second spherical. Siegmund was the one constructive shock, however was additionally eradicated in the third spherical. Should you be apprehensive about German tennis?

I believe there’s all the time a number of setbacks and a interval the place everybody fails. For ladies, Jules Niemeyer, for instance, performs superb and aggressive tennis. He will definitely have large wins in the long run and even this 12 months. It has a whole lot of potential. But when he performs in opposition to Iga Sviacek in the primary spherical, it should clearly be very tough. Laura Siegemund was the most effective. With him, it is mainly the identical sport: he tries to struggle and see how far he can go. Tatyana Maria Played inhumanly properly at Wimbledon final 12 months, however he is by no means been the kind of participant to say he could make it by means of the second week of the event. Honestly, it was wonderful. It’s good for males to have some {qualifications}.

Tommy Haas on Zverev: “He wants competitors expertise”

Alexander Zverev, who fought in the primary spherical, was eradicated in the second spherical. Has the event come too quickly for him after his critical damage?

He wants racing expertise. There is not any level in simply practising. For video games you want bodily health and you are able to do that solely by enjoying. Now in the primary spherical, “fortunate loser” Juan Pablo Varillas had an excellent draw. The approach he got here out of this match was very constructive. Under regular circumstances, the match in opposition to Michael Mmoh in the second spherical ought to have been nothing to fret about. But maybe Zverev thought an excessive amount of. Before the damage a number of months in the past, the match would have been straightforward.

Has Zverev managed to method the event in the best approach?

I believe Zverev was a bit of too pessimistic beforehand, saying he did not anticipate to play properly. If I used to be on his crew, I do not suppose he would have mentioned such phrases. He’s too good for that. But in the previous few matches he is misplaced a bit on the pitch and I do not suppose he is obtained the heart to play his sport but. I do know from expertise that getting back from an damage is tough. But it bounces again comparatively shortly after the fourth, fifth or sixth event. I’m curious to see how issues play out over the subsequent few weeks and months, and hopefully he’ll come into his personal on the Indian Wells Masters and go into week two there.

You additionally struggled with accidents in 2003, underwent two shoulder surgical procedures, and had been sidelined for greater than a 12 months. How did you are feeling after such an damage? Having hassle discovering your rhythm and trusting your physique once more?


Tommy Haas reached the semifinals of the 2002 Australian Open.

© imago/ExSpo

Yes, by all means. It was a silly time for me. I performed my finest tennis in 2001 and 2002 after which in December 2002 I needed to go beneath the knife. I did not play once more till February 2004. I received my fifth event after coming again on clay in opposition to Andy Roddick. At that point, he was ranked second or third in the world. You’ll come again and be grateful that you simply labored so arduous you could replay it in the background. At that point, it was uncertain that I might be capable of play with my shoulder once more. But I all the time tried to be constructive. But after all, the primary matches I performed after the damage had been good tennis.

Haas: ‘It’s getting tougher now’ for Nadal.

Even with damage points Rafael Nadal to struggle Distraught, he retired in the 2nd spherical. He is alleged to be out for six to eight weeks. Has he reached the purpose the place he’s contemplating retirement?

It’s wonderful how usually he is been injured just lately. I do not know precisely what he has in thoughts. It’s positively a troublesome time for him and he is now fascinated about the time after his energetic profession and questioning if he can take each event with him. The largest tennis he desires to play and needs to play is, after all, nonetheless clay. He is an unbeatable participant. Winning 14 Grand Slam titles on the French Open is unbelievable. I believe that is the place he sees his finest likelihood to win this 12 months. At the Australian Open in opposition to Mackenzie MacDonald, it was attention-grabbing to see her nonetheless making an attempt to shut out the match, risking much more pictures than common at occasions. Every as soon as in some time he would pull a flat brow there too, and I requested myself why he did not play like that when he was wholesome. What he’s giving the race now’s definitely not a great signal. They additionally know that Nadal is sick and now they could have an opportunity to beat him for the primary time. It’s positively getting tougher for him now.

Also learn: Rafael Nadal drama at Australian Open: ‘I’m uninterested in all of the accidents’

Some large names have been dominated out of the Australian Open, with Djokovic combating hip issues. Who do males like now?

Djokovic has received there 9 occasions. It’s nice to see him enjoying there once more. Not positive how a lot the damage will hinder him, however a few of his matches are trying good once more. It is vital that he received in three units. He and I do not see anybody successful the event aside from Stefanos Tsitsipas.

And with the women?

Arina Sabalenka performs extremely good and really sturdy tennis. His efficiency has additionally improved considerably. I imagine that Yelena Rybakina, who received Wimbledon final 12 months, can be very harmful. Finally, I guess on Sabalenka.

To the particular person: Tommy Haas is a former German tennis participant. His finest world rating was in May 2002 when he was second. At the Australian Open, he reached the semifinals thrice in his profession. Haas has served because the event director of the Indian Wells Masters since 2017. The 44-year-old man lives in Los Angeles together with his household.

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