Germany's Tommy Haas makes a forehand return to France's Benoit Paire during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Kin Cheung
April 10, 2017

HOUSTON (AP) In a match representing the largest age gap between players in more than a quarter-century, 39-year-old Tommy Haas edged 19-year-old Reilly Opelka 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3 on Monday at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship.

It was the first ATP tour-level victory since Wimbledon in 2015 for Haas, once ranked as high as No. 2, but now semi-retired and outside the top 800. Opelka is ranked 168th.

Haas earned his lone service break of the 6-foot-11 Opelka in the third set. Overall, Haas was 1 for 10 on break chances.

According to the ATP World Tour, the roughly 19+-year gap between Haas and Opelka is the biggest in a tour match since Jimmy Connors, at age 38, stopped playing because of a bad back while tied at two sets apiece against Michael Chang, 19, in the third round of the 1991 French Open.

In a first-round match earlier Monday in Houston, Nicolas Kicker advanced when qualifier Noah Rubin retired while trailing 5-3 in the first set.

Defending champion Juan Monaco faced Dustin Brown at night.


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