Tommy Haas Reflects on Career, Goals, and Leaves Miami a Winner

Tommy Haas during his Sony Open semifinal match against David Ferrer

March 29, 2013 – In a battle of the 30-and-older ATP veterans, world No. 5 David Ferrer braved out a bold Tommy Haas at the Sony Open in a two-hour topsy-turvy match. The Spaniard solidified his place in his fifth Masters final and looks to win his second Masters title after being victorious in Paris last year.

Though he lost today, Haas didn’t leave empty-handed, but rather notched a few points into the history books during his run this week.

In a match that saw ten breaks of serve, it was the clear the fresher player would inevitably win the grinding match. Early in the third set, Haas went up 3-1 before his forehand and serves started to break down, and the unforced errors crept in. Unable to adjust, Ferrer capitalized on the opening and kept pushing Haas into long rallies, tiring the German into more errors. Ferrer went on to win the next five games and seal the win, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

After losing the second set, Haas admitted: “I just tried to forget about it and really regroup in the third and told myself, ‘Come on! All you have to do is play one great final set’ to maybe achieve another big goal of mine” of reaching the finals.

At 3-all, Haas tried to stay positive, but the match began to slip away: “I started missing a little bit and came up (to the net) a little too often. He didn’t miss at all anymore. That’s the difference. That’s why he is where he is and that’s why he deserved to win.”

With his wife Sara and daughter Valentina in tow, Haas decided to forego the hotel experience and instead stay at a friend’s house while in Miami this year. This gave him some time to reflect on his success this week.

“I’m going to have to let it sink in a little bit,” stated Haas. “Anytime you lose it’s tough … but beating Novak Djokovic, coming back, beating Simon, getting to the semis — it’s been an unbelievable tournament, something that I will definitely cherish for the rest of my life.”

At five days shy of his thirty-fifth birthday, Haas is one of the eldest of players on Tour. So how long exactly is he planning on playing? Well, for now, it seems as long as he’s having fun.

“I will try to continue as long as I can, because this is a lot of fun. In the end of the day, the most joyful time I have is when I’m on the court playing great tennis, entertaining the crowd, playing in front of the big, on the big stadiums. Those moments (are) what you dream about when you’re a young kid, you know. You have these imaginations playing at the big tournaments and going out there and competing hard.”

Comparing his own career to Andy Roddick’s consistent play for more than ten years, Haas admitted that he was “shocked” when the American retired after last year’s US Open. Haas’ career was interspersed with injuries and setbacks that pulled him off Tour for more than a year at a time, while Roddick consistently played Masters titles, Davis Cup ties, and stayed in the top 10.

“Maybe it was just too much for him, and he just said, ‘I’m done,’” Haas stated. “My career is totally different … I guess that’s sometimes a little bit of a frightening situation for any athlete to really just say, ‘Okay, I’m done.’”

During his more recent setbacks, Haas was quick to acknowledge that he thought about what his other options were outside of playing on the Tour. And while he didn’t volunteer any specifics, he does hope to stay involved with tennis even after his fruitful career.

“I don’t know yet exactly what I’m going to do,” said Haas. “Obviously I have played with in my mind, you know, the thought of what would I do, and there are things that really interest me. And obviously it’s probably going to be tennis involved and some things that I’m really eager to do maybe even still after my career, and hopefully some of those dreams will come true, as well.