I like Haas's attitude. One can tell he has a little of the rebel in him. Let him wear that shirt. It is a stylish and clean cut looking shirt, and I love it.
Haas Keeps Pot Boiling at U.S. Open
By Hal Bock
AP Sports Writer
Friday, August 30, 2002; 8:00 PM
NEW YORK –– Third-seeded Tommy Haas keeps stirring things up at the U.S. Open.
First, it was the sleeveless shirt controversy that got United States Tennis Association officials so upset. When Haas showed up with the Muscle Beach look for his first match, they insisted he change into a more subdued, traditional top.
Then he followed that flap by questioning the age-old rule that prohibits coaching during matches.
Haas thought he could have used a little help during his 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 victory Friday over Karol Kucera. But coaches, Red Ayme and Nick Bollettieri, never stirred. That's because during matches, players are on their own.
"You're not supposed to get communication," Haas said. "I do look into the (coaches) box and I do search for a lot of eye contact.
"Once in a while, I'm just looking for help. You know you're not supposed to get any help. I'm just looking for a little magic."
Haas says coaching during matches has gone on for some time.
"They make a big deal out of it," he said. "If your coach is going to take his hat off, they think they're coaching already. Or maybe they yell into you one time, 'Come on, get your first serve in,' or something. I don't believe in my eyes that's really coaching. I think it's just motivating your player.
"In Davis Cup, you're allowed to coach. World Team Cup that I play ... I think once in a while it's OK if the coaches yell something out. I have no problem with that."
But did Haas really need any help in his straight-sets rubout of Kucera? He thought so.
"I couldn't really hit my first serve in as well as I wanted to," he said. "Every time I did serve well, my opponent really just hit a complete winner every time. I was just struggling with that a little bit.
"After being out there almost two hours, maybe just one (piece of) advice would have been nice, even though I'm not supposed to get one. I just felt like maybe ... just saying one thing would be great. So that's why I was a little bit upset."
And now that he's settled that, Haas said he's not through with the sleeveless shirt look. He said it could surface again if he sticks around this tournament long enough.
"It kind of bothers me, " he said. "I think a lot of players are actually for it. They all think it should be allowed. If I happen to stay here a little bit longer, maybe win the next round or two, who knows? I'd like to put it on anyway and see what they're going to do."
And then Haas said he had encouragement for the shirt from an important non-tennis community.
"Eating in a restaurant last night, six ladies came up to me telling me it was too bad I couldn't wear the sleeveless shirt," he said. "Maybe it's a good sign."
© 2002 The Associated Press