Tommy Haas beats Mikhail Youzhny at French Open
Tommy Haas became the oldest French Open men's quarterfinalist since 1971 by beating Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 on Monday. Haas is also the oldest man to reach the quarters at any major event since Andre Agassi at the 2005 U.S. Open.
Haas became a first-time Roland Garros quarterfinalist in his 12th appearance at the tournament, a record for such a breakthrough, with a . He's the first German man to reach the final eight since Michael Stich and Bernd Karbacher in 1996.
And he's the oldest men's quarterfinalist at Roland Garros since 39-year-old Istvan Gulyas in 1971.
"These are cool stats sometimes to hear," said Haas, who is mounting a comeback from injuries that sidelined him for more than a year. "I feel like I'm riding a wave that I hope to continue as long as I can. I'm going out there and I try to improve my game as much as I can, and to be in this situation is spectacular."
Seeded No. 12, Haas needed 13 match points to beat John Isner in a third-round marathon, but his victory over Youzhny took less than 90 minutes. By the second set Youzhny was so frustrated he demolished his racket by banging it nine times against his changeover chair.
"Bad luck for that racket," Youzhny said.
Haas served well and dominated with his returns, winning 25 of 41 points on Youzhny's first serve and breaking eight times.
Ranked No. 2 when he was 24, Haas is now the oldest player in the top 100. He was sidelined from February 2010 to April 2011 because of hip and shoulder injuries, but he's 25-9 this year, and his ranking his risen to 14th from 205th at the beginning of 2012.
"Who would have thought two years ago I'd be in this position today?" Haas said. "I wouldn't have thought that way. Almost no way. But you've got to keep believing and have the right people around you being positive, helping you to maybe still achieve great things."