Ace Haas trumps Djokovic

Like Andy Murray, Tommy Haas has made his first Wimbledon semi-final. But at 31 – he is the oldest man in the final eight – and in his 11th Championships, the German has taken a more roundabout route to the last four, with one visit to the fourth round his previous best. He may be a surprising presence in the last four, where he will play Roger Federer, yet he should not be underestimated on the evidence of yesterday's 7-5, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 triumph over Novak Djokovic, the No 4 seed.

Haas' serve gave him the edge, as he delivered 18 aces on Court No 1. "I served extremely well and didn't really give him much of a rhythm," said Haas, a three-time Australian Open semi-finalist. "He never really got a groove on returning well to maybe get some confidence or break me."

But after serving out the first set, Haas stumbled in the second as Djokovic won all four points in the last game to force a tiebreak, then soon held three set points. "All of a sudden I lost four points in a row on my serve," Haas said. "Next thing you know, I'm down in the tiebreak 3-6. Then I just yelled at myself, basically, 'Wake up.'" He did, winning the next five points to take the second set.

Djokovic, who had won 12 sets in a row before this match, grabbed a lifeline by taking the close-fought third set 6-4. But Haas edged a tense fourth game in the fourth set on the Djokovic serve and consolidated to move into a 4-1 lead, then held his nerve to serve out for an impressive victory.

Now he faces Federer, against whom he came within a point of serving for the match in the fourth round of the French Open this year before losing the final three sets.

"It's in the past," said Haas. "But being a friend of his and knowing how much it meant to him winning the French Open I'm happy he made that shot."

Oldie but goodie: Life and times of Haas

* Born 3 April 1978, Hamburg, Germany.

* Haas' current ATP world ranking is 34th.

* Previous Grand Slam singles best: reaching Australian Open semi-finals in 1999, 2002 and 2007.

* Had never previously progressed beyond the third round at Wimbledon. He was No 13 seed in 2007 yet had to withdraw due to injury ahead of fourth-round match with Roger Federer. Last year, he exited in the third round against Andy Murray.

* Coach Nick Bollettieri offered a 13 year-old Haas a place at his tennis academy

* Arnold Schwarzenegger was a schoolmate of Tommy's father, Peter. The Californian governor supported Haas at the 2001 Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles.

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003