With a routine 6-4, 6-2 win over American Jesse Levine in the second round of Vienna’s Erste Bank Open, Germany’s Tommy Haas reached the illustrious 500 win mark. With Andy Roddick’s recent retirement, Haas is now only the fourth active player on tour with 500 or more wins, joining Roger Federer (871), Rafael Nadal (583) and Lleyton Hewitt (566).
“I knew for a few days that I would reach the milestone if I won this match. This was a big goal of mine,” said Haas. “In April, I was at around 472 wins and I knew it wouldn’t be easy to win another 27 or 28 matches.” In honor of the achievement, Haas was gifted a custom Fiat 500 by the tournament.
Haas, who won Vienna in 2001, faces a qualifier in the next round and likes his chances to add to the win column. “For now I’m focusing on next year,” Haas said. “One of my goals for this year was to win my 13th title since 13 is my lucky number. Next year is 2013 and as long as I’m fit I want to play the whole year.”
Not many 34 year olds are focusing on “next year” in the world of professional tennis. In tennis, 34 year olds are about as effective as corpses. But then, Tommy Haas has had a career unlike any player before him.