I collected the perspective of Peter Haas, father of Tommy, of Roger Federer for my "Facing Federer" book...Peter Haas (Father of Tommy Haas): "I know Roger very well. Tommy trains with him sometimes in Switzerland and other places. I'm a total, big-time Federer fan. Basically speaking, Tommy plays just like Roger, they both have the same old school backhand. That automatically makes me a Federer fan. They basically have the same basic type of game from an aesthetic point of view."Question: What is your first memory of Roger Federer?Peter Haas: "It's kind of a funny story. About approximately 12 or 13 years ago down in Miami, South Beach, Ocean Drive. I was walking down the sidewalk. Back then, Tommy wore a bit of a ponytail in the back. So I saw him and said, 'Tommy! Tommy!' This frickin' guy wouldn't turn around. I was thinking: What are you, like deaf?! And it happened to be Roger Federer, who was sitting there with his coach Peter Lundgren [smiles]."Question: You've obviously gotten to know Roger, can you share a memory or anecdote that may capture his essence?Peter Haas: "I know Roger through Tommy. I am very friendly with Mirka. From tennis coaching I know her for ten years before she met Roger at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. I've never seen a tennis player - and I've met many athletes and champions from all professions throughout Tommy's entire career - as a person and a complete athlete, Roger is so friendly, so cordial, so open with people. With zero arrogance. The hair on my arm is almost standing up right now. What I'm saying, in essence, it's almost unbelievable that this type of person exists. He's such a pure, class act. In other words, he's humble. Yet he does not need to be."Question: Is it hard for your son to play such a close friend like Federer?Peter Haas: "On the court, they're always going to be fierce competitors. They each have to fight for themselves to win the match. But once the match is over, they're friends. But when it comes to the match they have to be warriors and gladiators. And they accept each other's performance. It's a lot easier for Tommy to accept to lose to Federer, or win, and Federer is the same way if he loses against Tommy. Federer is man enough to say: Hey I lost to Tommy, I lost to a great player. In a nutshell, it's respect."
(Peter Haas - on left - with friend and translator Mark Patrick Schlobach at the 2013 Sarasota Open Challenger in Longboat Key, Florida.)"Facing Federer: A Symposium" will be published and available by the 2013 U.S. Open.