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Robin Haase Q&A: 99% Correct

Player Q&A

Haase© AFP/Getty ImagesHaase reached the third round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

Robin Haase advanced to the quarter-finals at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event for the first time Thursday, defeating Thomaz Bellucci 6-2, 6-3 at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. The 25 year old, who captured his first title at the bet-at-home Cup Kitzbühel last year, faces Novak Djokovic next.

As part of ATPWorldTour.com’s new Q&A series, Haase talks about his success on clay, his decision to play right-handed and who he’d like to trade places with for a day.

Clay has become your most consistent surface win percentage wise. What is it about your game that suits it so well?
I like to play on it. Although I’m pretty tall, I can defend really well. It gives me time to run around and do something with my forehand. And also, I like to mix it up with a high ball or a drop shot. So clay suits my game in that way.

After returning from a second knee surgery in 2010, you won five Challenger titles on clay that season en route to being named the ATP’s Comeback Player of the Year. Talk about the road back from the injury.
That was a tough time. It took one and a half years to start again and another year to come back. But within eight months, I was in the Top 100 again. It was a great feeling to come back that fast. I have a lot of appreciation from the other guys who nominated and voted me as the Comeback Player of the Year. I played well and I always believed in myself that once I got healthy, I would come back.
 
You’re actually left-handed, but play right-handed. What went into that decision?
I started so young, and I just picked up a racquet one day. I did most things with my left hand. But when I was three or four, I didn’t know how to serve. What do you do when you’re a young kid? You copy everyone else. So I copied my family by doing it with my right hand. When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, and said a professional tennis player, my father said I had to choose a side. That’s when I decided to play right-handed.
 
Personality wise, which player on tour are you most similar to?
It’s difficult for me to say, but if guys were to say he’s the guy that’s like Jarkko Nieminen, I would be happy.
 
When was the last time you attended another sporting event?
At the Dallas Challenger, I went to see the Dallas Mavericks play. I try to go whenever I can to see an ice hockey or basketball game. I like to watch them live.

Reveal to ATPWorldTour.com one of your bad habits.
I try to be right most of the time. But 99 per cent of the time, I am right. (laughter)

If you could be somebody else in the world for one day, who would it be and why?
Probably a singer or performer. As an athlete, you kind of know what it’s like to play in front of 10,000 or more people. But whether you’re the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Adele, what you can achieve by just singing and how you make people feel, that would be pretty cool.

Can you sing?
No, I can’t sing!

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