Latest 9 Jan 2013

Age is no barrier for 34-year-old Haas

Age is no barrier for 34-year-old Haas

Haas idolised Andre Agassi as a youngster and dreamed of playing tennis into his thirties but three shoulder surgeries and hip surgery forced the father of one to consider his future in the sport.

“When you have a little daughter at home you wonder if it’s still worth the grind and it’s very important in those moments to step back and really think about what you still want to accomplish in your career.”

With 13 singles titles and four Grand Slam semifinals under his belt, the third seed believes that he can be a big threat this week. Haas, who was last here in 2000 after making the final the previous year, was named the ATP comeback player of 2012 after his decisive return to form. He is not a man to be underestimated.

“I feel if I’m playing well I can still beat anybody or at least give the top four guys a good run for their money.”

He will be attacking 2013 (13 being his lucky number) with the same vigour as 2012. A year that saw his ranking jump from outside the top 200 to 21.

“It’s a new year, you look to try and see where your game is at, especially with such a big one coming up next week. This tournament provides you with an opportunity to work on your game … and hopefully deliver well in the match when nerves and everything else come into play.”

Haas, who enjoyed the Maori welcome at the player’s dinner on Sunday (below), loves the positivity and friendliness of Kiwis. And we all love his never say die attitude.