Tommy Haas in an exclusive interview

  • For the primary time since 2010, the second week of the Australian Open can be held and not using 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 concerning the Australian Open amongst Grand Slam tournaments?

Tommy Haas: In basic, 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 completed 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 another Grand Slam. It’s only a “fortunate slam”. The climate is all the time good, however it may be too sizzling right here and there. When it will get actually heat, it is like having a blow dryer in your face. Otherwise, lodges are near the location and Melbourne itself is a stunning 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. Back in the day, the Australian Open nonetheless had the “rubber rubber” you performed on. The ball bounces slightly greater on it and you may play very aggressive tennis. It was very well-rounded, and the blade went slightly 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 rather a lot for the gamers and I actually loved that.

For the primary time since 2010, the second week of the competitors can 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 frightened about German tennis?

I feel there’s all the time a couple of setbacks and a interval the place everybody fails. For girls, Jules Niemeyer, for instance, performs excellent and aggressive tennis. He will definitely have huge wins in the long run and even this yr. It has a variety of potential. But when he performs in opposition to Iga Sviacek in the primary spherical, it would clearly be very tough. Laura Siegemund was one of the best. With him, it is mainly the identical recreation: he tries to battle and see how far he can go. Tatyana Maria Played inhumanly properly at Wimbledon final yr, 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 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 severe damage?

He wants racing expertise. There isn’t any level in simply practising. 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 means 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 couple of months in the past, the match would have been straightforward.

Has Zverev managed to method the match in the appropriate means?

I feel Zverev was slightly too pessimistic beforehand, saying he did not anticipate to play properly. If I used to be on his staff, I do not suppose he would have stated 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 received the heart to play his recreation but. I do know from expertise that getting back from an damage is tough. But it bounces again comparatively rapidly after the fourth, fifth or sixth match. 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 have been sidelined for greater than a yr. 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 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 that you could replay it in the background. At that point, it was uncertain that I’d have the ability to 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 have been good tennis.

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

Even with damage points Rafael Nadal to battle 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 typically 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 desirous about the time after his lively profession and questioning if he can take each match with him. The greatest tennis he needs 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 feel that is the place he sees his finest probability to win this yr. At the Australian Open in opposition to Mackenzie MacDonald, it was fascinating to see her nonetheless making an attempt to shut out the match, risking much more photographs than ordinary at instances. 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 a very good 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 bored with 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 instances. It’s nice to see him taking part in there once more. Not positive how a lot the damage will hinder him, however a few of his matches are wanting good once more. It is vital that he received in three units. He and I do not see anybody profitable the match aside from Stefanos Tsitsipas.

And with the women?

Arina Sabalenka performs extremely good and really robust tennis. His efficiency has additionally improved considerably. I imagine that Yelena Rybakina, who received Wimbledon final yr, can also be very harmful. Finally, I wager on Sabalenka.

To the individual: 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 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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