Tommy Haas in an exclusive interview

  • For the primary time since 2010, the second week of the Australian Open will likely 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 match in Melbourne.

Sir. HaasWhat is particular in regards to the Australian Open amongst Grand Slam tournaments?

Tommy Haas: In normal, a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam. All of them are essential. For me as a participant, it was all the time an alternative to see if I had carried out my pre-season duties effectively. In Australia, virtually everybody prepares for tennis in January. The followers are all the time nice. The German followers have all the time been effectively supported, greater than another 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, motels are near the location and Melbourne itself is a beautiful metropolis.

You have 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 begin over. Most of the time, the final races have 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 little bit increased on it and you may play very aggressive tennis. It was very well-rounded, and the blade went a little bit deeper. I all the time felt comfy there. The Australian Open has all the time been a match the place we have tried to do lots for the gamers and I actually loved that.

For the primary time since 2010, the second week of the competitors will likely 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 optimistic shock, however was additionally eradicated in the third spherical. Should you be frightened about German tennis?

I feel there’s all the time a number of setbacks and a interval the place everybody fails. For ladies, Jules Niemeyer, for instance, performs excellent and aggressive tennis. He will definitely have huge wins in the longer term and even this 12 months. It has numerous potential. But when he performs in opposition to Iga Sviacek in the primary spherical, it would clearly be very troublesome. Laura Siegemund was one of the best. With him, it is mainly the identical sport: he tries to battle and see how far he can go. Tatyana Maria Played inhumanly effectively at Wimbledon final 12 months, however he is by no means been the kind of participant to say he could make it by way of the second week of the match. 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 match come too quickly for him after his critical damage?

He wants racing expertise. There is not any level in simply training. For video games you want bodily health and you are able to do that solely by taking part in. Now in the primary spherical, “fortunate loser” Juan Pablo Varillas had a fantastic draw. The method he got here out of this match was very optimistic. 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 simple.

Has Zverev managed to strategy the match in the precise method?

I feel Zverev was a little bit too pessimistic beforehand, saying he did not anticipate to play effectively. If I used to be on his group, I do not suppose he would have mentioned such phrases. He’s too good for that. But in the previous couple of matches he is misplaced a bit on the pitch and I do not suppose he is bought the heart to play his sport but. I do know from expertise that getting back from an damage is troublesome. But it bounces again comparatively rapidly after the fourth, fifth or sixth match. I’m curious to see how issues play out over the following 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 have been sidelined for greater than a 12 months. How did you’re feeling after such an damage? Having bother 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 greatest tennis in 2001 and 2002 after which in December 2002 I needed to go below the knife. I did not play once more till February 2004. I received my fifth match 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 exhausting you can replay it in the background. At that point, it was uncertain that I’d be capable to play with my shoulder once more. But I all the time tried to be optimistic. But in fact, the primary matches I performed after the damage have been good tennis.

Haas: ‘It’s getting more durable now’ for Nadal.

Even with damage points Rafael Nadal to battle Distraught, he retired in the 2nd spherical. He is claimed 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 not too long ago. I do not know precisely what he has in thoughts. It’s positively a troublesome time for him and he is now enthusiastic about the time after his lively profession and questioning if he can take each match with him. The largest tennis he needs to play and desires to play is, in fact, nonetheless clay. He is an unbeatable participant. Winning 14 Grand Slam titles on the French Open is unimaginable. I feel that is the place he sees his greatest probability to win this 12 months. At the Australian Open in opposition to Mackenzie MacDonald, it was attention-grabbing to see her nonetheless attempting to shut out the match, risking much more photographs 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 could be actually not an excellent 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 more durable for him now.

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

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

Djokovic has received there 9 occasions. It’s nice to see him taking part in there once more. Not certain how a lot the damage will hinder him, however a few of his matches are wanting good once more. It is essential that he received in three units. He and I do not see anybody successful the match apart from Stefanos Tsitsipas.

And with the women?

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

To the individual: Tommy Haas is a former German tennis participant. His greatest world rating was in May 2002 when he was second. At the Australian Open, he reached the semifinals 3 times in his profession. Haas has served because the match 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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