There is nothing that makes a man more proud, regardless of the environment in which he goes about his business, than when the people who form part of his surroundings recognize his hard work, dedication and sacrifice. This is the case of Tommy Haas, the tournament’s oldest professional player, who on Tuesday yet again gave a lesson to all those who witnessed his match on the Caja Mágica’s court number 4. He eventually bowed out to Gilles Muller, but he did everything in his powers to progress, with countless flashes of his brilliance in a match in which the fans were cheering him on from the moment he took to the court and grateful for his commitment to every point.
Born in Hamburg 39 years ago, his career has been no bed of roses. The German has tasted success, he has enjoyed his passion for tennis, but he has also experienced the dark side, which every sportsman dreads; injuries, which have plagued the career of a player who will always wonder what might have been if he had not suffered so many. But after each stumble there was always a resurgence and that is what makes the 2002 ATP world number 2 and silver medalist at the Sydney Olympics great.
On top of this he has fourteen titles to his name, the highlight of which was the Stuttgart Masters in 2001, and he was among the world’s top fifty for eleven seasons, seven of those in the top 20. All of this came in his youth and once well past thirty, and carrying the burden of injuries past, he reached world number 11 at 35 years of age. His latest feat came a few months ago, when he beat a man 20 years his junior at the tournament in Houston.
Tennis player and director of the tournament at Indian Wells, Haas has shown everyone that if you are passionate about something, in his case tennis, you can overcome any adversity that may appear in your way. At the end of the year he will make his last professional appearance on the courts, but he will continue to enjoy those who surround him and when he looks back he will see that one of his goals, that his daughter see what he is capable of, has been accomplished many times over.