LONDON — With all the men playing under the U.S. flag out before the third round, there’s still one legitimate American left at Wimbledon.
Playing some of the best tennis of his career at age 35, Tommy Haas – who has dual German-American citizenship – reached the third round for the first time since 2009, beating qualifier Jimmy Wang of Taiwan 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.
Asked whether he’d be comfortable being identified as the last American standing, Haas smiled and said: “You can write that, sure. That’s fine with me.”
The 13th-seeded Haas had considered playing as an American – and briefly had the ATP website list him as an American when he first became a U.S. citizen in January 2010 – but then decided to remain loyal to Germany.
“If you had a German-American flag, I would represent that flag but it doesn’t exist,” Haas said.
The 13th-seeded Haas will face Feliciano Lopeztoday.
“He is obviously feeling pretty good, no question about it, winning in Eastbourne,” Haas said about Lopez. “He’s been in the quarters here three times in his career. I’m going to have to play extremely well to have a chance to win that match.”
Haas reached the Wimbledon semifinals four years ago but missed the tournament in 2010 because of a hip injury, one of a long series of health problems.
“I’m so tired of talking about my injuries, to be honest,” Haas said. “It’s like I’m healthy right now. I’m playing good tennis right now.”
He lost in the first round in 2011 and 2012. This month, Haas became the oldest French Open quarterfinalist since 1971.
“Yes, I’m 35,” he said. “There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m later in my career. These are all things that don’t matter when you get out there.”