Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You had to fight hard for that, didn’t you?
ROBIN HAASE: Yeah. He’s known for not giving you anything, so I knew it was going to be a tough match, although after the first set I was, like, Okay. Could be easier than I thought.
But in the second set I think it was a few shots where he took the advantage. If I can go 2-1, maybe 3-2, I feel like maybe I can win it in two sets. But even though I came back, it was tough to keep my concentration and to get every point, because you really have to, yeah, fight for it.
But luckily in the third set it was good enough.
Q. He made less errors after the first set, didn’t he?
ROBIN HAASE: He made less errors, but also I played less deep and less aggressive. I think it’s always a combination of the two, yeah.
Q. You’re in the semifinals possibly facing either Monfils or Verdasco. Your thoughts on that?
ROBIN HAASE: Yeah, two great players, players I have played before, one more than the other. I think I played a few times very good against Verdasco. I lost the last two, I think.
Against Monfils I think I never won. But I’m just happy that I’m through and I have the opportunity to play another match. If you get the opportunity, there’s always a possibility to win.
Q. How do you gauge your career now? A lot of people unfortunately remember the situation with your coach last year.
ROBIN HAASE: Yeah.
Q. How difficult is it to come through that and keep everything flowing?
ROBIN HAASE: Oh, it wasn’t easy, for sure. I was struggling, especially first couple of weeks, months even, mentally. I was on the court but not really. Actually, the first match I played was against Dzumhur after it happened. I lost 1 and 0, I think. I would have lost to anyone, even maybe on a Future level at that day.
It was so tough for me mentally, but I had the right people around me, and I got back. I got a new coach, which I’m very happy. We are working a lot. Besides what happened, we are working a lot on the mental side, as well, and I think I’m finding the old me, which, how I got up when I was very young. I lost myself in a couple of years due to several things, but also, of course, last year was one of those things that, say, punched me even more down.
But I got back, and that’s why I’m, yeah, kind of proud that I’m in the semis here. Playing well and beating good guys.
Q. Who are the people who really helped you? Family?
ROBIN HAASE: Yeah, family, girlfriend, of course. That’s the part where, yeah, you’re closest too. I think that’s, I would say, normal.
But also the coach I’m working now, I asked him actually to travel with me two, three weeks, just to help me out, because he had a job. I asked an ex-player, Kristie Boogert, to come with me. She helped me a lot. My old coach, which I was working from 6 to 18, he was helping me.
So I looked for people that I could talk to, that I could say anything I want, even maybe if it’s not good, but they really helped me. And also Raymond, my coach now, I mean, there’s a reason why, after those two, three weeks, we still working together.
Q. He was a good guy on the tour, wasn’t it? He was very popular with everyone else?
ROBIN HAASE: Yeah, especially with the Dutch people. Yeah.
Q. Well done.
ROBIN HAASE: Thank you.