Haas set for lengthy absence after hip surgery
Originally published on: 05/03/10 15:30
Tommy Haas is set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines after undergoing hip surgery on Friday.
The 31-year-old German has been dogged by injuries throughout his career and the operation is the latest in a spate of visits to the surgeon.
As well as three shoulder operations, Haas also required surgery after breaking his right ankle in December 1995, before breaking his other ankle the following year.
And after succumbing to his ever-creaking body’s latest malfunction, the world No.18 follows Lleyton Hewitt under the knife for hip surgery.
The Aussie favourite underwent a similar operation before the conclusion of the Australian Open, having felt “a reasonable amount of pain” in his right hip while competing in Melbourne.
But Haas, who has suffered two first round exits in the four tournaments in which he has featured so far this year, had no illusions about his level of pain, telling his personal website: “I had to have the operation now. The pain was simply too great.”
Philosophical about his latest spell away from the game, Haas believes surgery was a necessity if he is to continue competing at the highest level.
“It’s not the best time in my career to have the surgery but I had to get it done. When you’re injured and not playing at 100 percent, there is only so much you can achieve.”
No timescale has been set for the 2009 Wimbledon semi-finalist to return to action, but the injury becomes the latest blow in a topsy-turvy career for Hamburg-born Haas.
He achieved his best Grand Slam finish at the Aussie Open in 1999, advancing to the semi-finals where he lost to eventual champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
But after making the Melbourne semi’s again and rising to a career-high ranking of No.2 in 2002, Haas took time out to care for his parents after they were involved in a tragic car accident.
He would then miss the whole of the 2003 season after undergoing right rotator cuff surgery the previous December, before having another bout of surgery on the same shoulder in July.
Another Aussie Open semi-final appearance and a quarter-final appearance at Flushing Meadows in 2007 had him back on the right track, before he was once again derailed by injuries in the first half of 2008.
The Florida resident enjoyed something of a renaissance in 2009, returning to the top 20 and making the last four at Wimbledon for the first time, but he has struggled to maintain that form this season.
Haas followed a third round defeat to Jo-Wilfred Tsonga at the Australian Open with a second round loss to lowly ranked Uzbek Denis Istomin in San Jose.
He has since lost in the opening round of subsequent tournaments in Memphis and Delray – to Xavier Malisse and Teimuraz Gabashvili – both ranked outside the world’s top 100.
Dr Marc J Philippon operated on Haas in Colorado, and while certain that his client will be out of action for a number of months, agent Lars Schriewer could not confirm where the future lies for the 31-year-old.
“Tommy has been operated upon by the best doctor in this field,” he said. “He is in the best of hands. Everything else remains to be seen.”