After Misstep, Haas Looks To Go Forward
August 22, 2005
By ROBERTO GONZALEZ, Courant Staff Writer
NEW HAVEN -- Tommy Haas has persevered through serious injuries and freak accidents that have plagued him throughout his career.
The most freakish thing happened this year at Wimbledon. While practicing his serve before a first-round match with Janko Tipsarevic, he stepped on a tennis ball and injured tendons in his right ankle.
His ankle swelled up and he tried to play but was forced to retire after the second set. Haas, the sixth seed at the Pilot Pen, decided against surgery and took time off instead.
"I had the opportunity for surgery but I decided I had enough," said Haas, 27, of Germany. "I had enough with my shoulder and I had two ankle surgeries in 1996 and 1997."
Haas had made a great comeback on the ATP Tour after rotator cuff surgery that kept him out the entire 2003 season.
The former No.2-ranked player came back strong in 2004, winning titles in Houston and Los Angeles, and was named ATP Comeback Player of the Year.
This year, he reached the semifinals at Memphis, Munich, San Jose and Halle, Germany, before his accident at Wimbledon, where he thought he could advance past the third round for the first time in his career.
After some time off, he couldn't get past the second round in Los Angeles, then had to fight a sinus infection that caused him to withdraw in Montreal.
He was bounced out of the Cincinnati tournament in the first round last week.
Haas declared himself fit and feeling good Sunday, and he was looking forward to making a good showing before the U.S. Open.
"I think the field is pretty good here," Haas said. "Considering it's a week before the U.S. Open, there are a lot of good players here.
"I think everybody here is focused on the U.S. Open, to be honest. But I think the guys here are also trying to make a statement of getting far here as well as having a good run at the Open."
Blake Plays Tuesday
Fairfield's James Blake will play his first-round match against Michael Llodra on Tuesday night at 7 on Stadium Court.
Women's top seed Lindsay Davenport will follow against the winner of today's Tatiana Golovin-Kveta Peschke match. Fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva is scheduled for the Tuesday day session.
Fields Filled Out
The men's qualifiers are Andreas Seppi of Italy, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain, Stefan Koubek of Austria and Andy Ram of Israel. Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic, Jamea Jackson of the U.S., Shuai Peng of China and Jelena Kostanic of Croatia qualified for the women's field.