Haas, 38, Planning Another Comeback After Ninth Surgery
German wants to leave tennis on his terms
Tommy Haas has some good news and some bad news for his fans.
The bad news: The former World No. 2, who's had eight operations throughout his 20-year career, underwent his ninth surgery. The good news: He's already planning another comeback.
Haas had a torn ligament and a ligament-like structure on his right foot repaired at the Carolinas Medical Center Mercy Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Wednesday, he said. The injury, which is near the second toe of his right foot, started bothering him in October while he was practising for the Shanghai Rolex Masters, an ATP World World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.
During his first-round match against Kevin Anderson, the pain only grew worse. The German could barely push off his right foot and struggled to dart side to side. “I started feeling severe pain,” Haas said by phone from his hospital bed.
About a week later, at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, he felt more of the same during a three-set loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Doctors advised him to rest, hypothesizing the pain stemmed from a slight fracture. But the aches affected Haas' daily life, inflicting him when he jogged or even walked. So Haas, who lives in the U.S., opted for surgery with Dr. Robert Anderson with OrthoCarolina.
“I knew that even if I wasn't playing professional tennis anymore, I would probably have to get (the surgery) done,” Haas said.
His recovery will be at least six months, he said, which, under ideal circumstances, places him back on court in October. But the 38 year old also said he might wait until 2017 to comeback.
The rehabilitation will be nothing new for Haas. His eight surgeries have touched most parts of his body, including his shoulders, rotator cuffs, elbows, hips, ankles and now feet. "That's the way it is, and now I just have to let the healing process take place," he said.
Haas, who's won 15 ATP World Tour titles, wants to leave tennis on his terms. Next year, he'd like to create new memories with his 6-year-old daughter, Valentina, and bring her along as he plays his favorite tournaments, including the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, one final time.
“I know that there's a chance that I might not come back from this,” Haas said. “I know it will be a very, very hard task, but there's no doubt in my mind I'm certainly going to try.”