NEW YORK — Tommy Haas is technically 33, but he figures his tennis age is about 29 because of all the time he’s missed.
The world’s second-ranked player way back in 2002, Haas has been cursed by injuries ever since. He returned in April from his latest setback, a 14-month hiatus because of hip and shoulder problems. The German had won just two matches all year before he arrived at the U.S. Open — and now he’s won that many at Flushing Meadows.
Ranked 475th, Haas is the oldest man left in the draw.
He’s had some good fortune, facing a qualifier, 247th-ranked Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy, in the first round. And when 15th-seeded Viktor Troicki was upset in his opener, Haas was up against 119th-ranked Alejandro Falla, coming off a five-set match, in the second.
Haas won 7-6 (5), 6-1, 7-5 on Thursday. And he won’t meet a seeded player in the next round, either. Radek Stepanek, seeded 23rd, retired in his match Thursday, though Haas’ third-round opponent, Juan Monaco, has only a slightly worse ranking than Stepanek at 36th.
Monaco is a clay-court specialist, while 10 of Haas’ 12 career titles are on hard courts.
“When you get a little bit older and you haven’t been around for quite some time, and to re-find your game once again, it’s quite a challenge that I took up once again,” Haas said. “Because I still feel like I’ve got some good tennis in me, and I want to try to start playing the sport on my own terms. So to be here in the third round once again is a great feeling.”
RELATIONSHIP ADVICE: Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki, half of one of sport’s most famous couples with golfer Rory McIlroy, tweeted Wednesday that she was getting relationship advice in the locker room from the Williams sisters.
She added later: “you two make me laugh so much! Not sure how much I can use of what you girls said, but will take it into consideration haha!”
Asked about it Thursday, Serena Williams, who has been linked to several celebrities herself, joked: “It was bad advice.”
“I told her never look through the guy’s phone,” she said. “That is the worst thing you can do. I told her most relationships end.”
CROWD-PLEASING ACTS: Andrea Petkovic was disappointed when Novak Djokovic stopped doing his impersonations of other players, which earned him laughs and criticism.
The 10th-seeded German has her own crowd-pleasing act: post-match victory dances, which she plans to keep doing.
“I don’t think there is anybody in the world who doesn’t really care at all what other people say or think. That’s just impossible,” she said. “But at one point, I think you start to care too much, or also a lot of people are telling you what to do and what not to do. So it’s not always easy.
“But obviously he made the right choices. He’s No. 1 in the world, so I guess it’s good what he’s doing.”
Petkovic, bothered by a bad knee, dropped her first set Thursday but rallied to beat China’s Zheng Jie 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the second round.
READING ROGER: Roger Federer was asked whether he’d read rival Rafael Nadal’s recently released autobiography.
“He hasn’t given me one yet,” Federer joked.
“If he doesn’t, I’ll go buy one,” the Swiss star added.
Federer said he hadn’t had the time yet.
“I don’t know if it’s going to happen soon,” he said.
Nadal describes Federer’s talent as “a blessed freak of nature” in the book.
HONORING GONZALEZ: Pancho Gonzalez will be inducted into the U.S. Open Court of Champions.
The ceremony will be Saturday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium and hosted by actor Esai Morales. New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez will join the tribute.
Gonzalez won consecutive titles at the Open’s predecessor, the U.S. championships, at Forest Hills in 1948 and ‘49.
734 Responses to “HONORING GONZALEZ: Pancho Gonzalez will be inducted into the U.S. Open Court of Champions.”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.