When German tennis veteran Tommy Haas met Karen the koala today, all he could think about was showing photos of his encounter to two-year-old daughter Valentina.
The world number 21, who is in Perth for the Hopman Cup, got up close with the five-year-old koala from Caversham Wildlife Park at Kings Park as he took some time out from tennis today.
Haas’ first questions for Karen’s handler David Thorne was how big her claws were.
He joked that the koala shared a name with his younger sister, Karen.
“It was very nice and a very overwhelming feeling,” Haas said.
“I have been to Australia that many times now and I have never got that close to a koala before.
“To experience that was something I always wanted.
“My daughter will be very excited to see these pictures.”
While in WA this week, Haas said he made a brief visit to Cottesloe Beach on a scorching hot day and enjoyed lunch at The Blue Duck.
“We try to do some things, not to always just stay in the hotel room or the tennis side, to occupy our minds a little bit,” he said.
Haas will represent Germany in their Hopman Cup tie against Serbia tomorrow, facing off against world number one Novak Djokovic before joining teammate Tatjana Malek in the doubles.
While Haas won his singles game against Italy's Andreas Seppi 7-6, 7-6 yesterday, the Germans lost their tie in a hard-fought doubles decider 6-4, 7-5.