Haas frustrated to miss out on Olympics
Originally published on: 16/07/12 00:00
Haas won a silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney but the 34-year-old German will not feature at the London Games and believes his nation didn’t do enough to support his desire to do so.
“It’s a pill you have to swallow for not being nominated by the German Sport Committee,” he said. “I think if they would have just nominated me, I think the chances of getting a wildcard would have been quite high, but therefore the German people didn't nominate their player.
“It's frustrating, but, you know, you have to accept the fact that they didn't do it, and they have rules they follow and the criteria, and I didn't match those. So there you go.”
Philipp Kohlschreiber is the only male player representing Germany in the singles since Haas’ ranking was not high enough at the cut off point at the end of the clay season. Ironically, the Bradenton resident has rocketed up the rankings of late, reaching the semi-finals in Munich, the third round at the French Open, and beating world No.7 Tomas Berdych and Roger Federer en route to his 13th career title in Halle. He now stands at No.48 in the ATP ladder, which would have been enough to secure him a spot at the Olympics a month ago.
Haas has good reason for fond memories of the Olympic tennis event. He defeated Roger Federer in the semi-finals eight years ago and, though he lost to Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the gold medal match, reflects fondly on the experience.
“It's one of the best highlights I had in my career,” remembered Haas. “At that time I was still young, and it was my first Olympics. I had a great time staying at the Village, meeting new, different athletes, seeing how they train and everything.
“You know, the more wiser you get, you realise what it actually meant for you or what it means for you to actually have a medal. It means a lot to me.
“Maybe looking back once I'm completely done with my career, it's definitely going to be ranked as one of my biggest moments.”