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Haas: 'You Can't Buy Your Ranking'

Wimbledon, England

Haas© Getty ImagesTommy Haas says, "I don't get a handout just because I've had five surgeries in my career."

Tommy Haas is sticking to the notion that age is simply a number, as his competition ignores the fact that the German is a 35 year old with a laundry list of injuries when clashing on court.

Haas, who reached the Wimbledon third round on Friday with a straight-sets win over qualifier Jimmy Wang, said that he doesn’t expect any favours from his peers, just because he’s overcome numerous obstacles to be where he stands today.

“I'm 35. There's nothing I can do about it. I'm later in my career,” Haas said. “These are all things that don't matter once you get out there. I don't get 15/0 or 30/0 every game because I'm 35. You have to win games, sets, and matches.

“I don't get a handout just because I've had five surgeries in my career. It's not like that. You have to earn everything. You can't buy ATP points to [improve] your ranking. It's not possible. But still, it's been a struggle at times. It's part of life. There are more important things than tennis anyway. But overall I'm healthy. I'm competing. I'm playing the sport I love to play. Everything is good.”

With every setback he’s conquered, Haas has developed a greater appreciation in being able to continue doing what his heart desires. This season, Haas has risen as high as No. 11 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, posted a win over World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, captured a title on home soil in Munich and advanced to his first Roland Garros quarter-final.

“I appreciate it a lot. That's why I'm happy to still be doing what I'm doing,” said Haas. “I hope I can continue as long as I can, as long as my body allows me to, as long as I'm mentally capable of giving it a lot of extra effort off the court, as well. All the preparations, the hard work, as long as all that is there, I'll continue.”

The 13th-seeded Haas will look to reach the second week of The Championships for the third time when he takes on three-time quarter-finalist and recent Eastbourne titlist Feliciano Lopez. Haas' best showing at the All England Club was a semi-final run in 2009 (l. to Federer).

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© Juergen Hasenkopf


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