3-Minute Interview: Tommy Haas

Tommy Haas would have rather been on the court this week than available to speak to Bay Area reporters, but a shoulder injury forced him to withdraw from the Australian Open. The 29-year-old German had surgery Nov. 10 and expects to be ready to play in the SAP Open, to be held Feb. 18-24 at HP Pavilion in San Jose.

What kind of memories do you have of the SAP Open? I first played there in ’98, reaching the quarters. I think I played Michael Chang in the quarters, lost 6-4 in the third, which was one of my great memories playing there. It was a night match in front of a lot of people. That was a lot of fun.

As you approach 30, do your career goals stay the same? If I can stay healthy and fit, you know, I feel like I have a really good game to still hang around a few years and do some damage at the tournaments that I want to do well in, obviously the big ones, the Grand Slams.

Roger Federer currently has 12 Grand Slam titles, just two behind Pete Sampras. You’ve played against both. Can you compare them at all? I’m pretty much going to have to go with what Andre Agassi said. It’s like when you’re playing Pete and you’re not playing maybe your best tennis, you’re still going to lose a little tight, 6-4, 6-4. Pete is only going to break you once in each set. That one time is enough to win the match for him. But if you’re playing Roger [and] you’re not playing that well, it looks like you’re going to lose pretty much 6-1, 6-1 or maybe even get a bagel … but Pete definitely goes down in my eyes as probably having the best serve, especially second serve, ever.

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