Translation of a short German interview with Tommy:
„This was a shock“
Interview: Philipp Schneider
Tommy Haas, 33, about his long injury break, his second comeback in Munich and the reasons why he still wants to be a tennis professional
SZ: Mr. Haas, after an injury break of 14 months you are going to play at the BMW Open in Munich for the first at an international tournament. You are going to play together with Radek Stepanek in the doubles against Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley on Tuesday. How do you feel?
Haas: I’m feeling great. Everything which happens in my life couldn’t be better. With the exeption of my injuries which always throw me way back. In early February I started to practice a bit more serious. But with tennis it is that you never forget how to play it. I’m just lacking fitness and it has to be seen how my body will react now. Therefore the doubles is an ideal solution to catch up with the others. I need matches and have to learn to deal with nervousness. But I know exactly what awaits me as I already had a comeback after a shoulder injury which ist he worst of all injuries for tennis players. This time the right hip troubled me and the ellbow.
SZ: When did you decide to play here in Munich?
Haas: Just recently. My doubles partner Radek Stepanek is my neighbour in Florida. After one of our practices he told me that he was going to play in Munich. I said to him: „You know what – maybe we are going to play doubles together.“ But I was only joking. Of course I also have the whole team of physios and doctors who support me at my comeback. I’m already looking ahead. The tournaments which are important for me in the upcoming months are Paris, Halle and Wimbledon. Until then I want to be fit. Also in singles. Maybe it is already enough for one of the two next preparation tournaments for the French Open – Madrid or Rome. When I should play in Halle I’m going to feel like the title defender for sure even though I couldn’t play there the last year.
SZ: Can you describe your feelings of the past months?
Haas: When you feel that you suddenly have pains which never really go away? That’s a shock even though the doctors tell you that you can come back to the tour after a few months. It was mentally incredible helpful for me during that time that I knew that I became a father. I felt that there is a life beside tennis and that this life couldn’t be any better. Beside all this intensive training which you go through there are always setbacks where you ask yourself if tennis still makes a sense.
SZ: What is the motivation for your comeback?
Haas: I still have goals and am ambitious. I still enjoy it to toil myself. It would be great if my 5 months old daughter would see her father in one or two years on the tennis court. Not on the seniors tour but on the real one. But it has to be seen in the next months if everything will work as I wish. I would have loved to play singles here in Munich already but I’m not ready for it yet.