Age no concern for German tennis star Haas
The 31-year-old has made it to the Wimbledon quarter-finals.London -- Germany's Tommy Haas is Wimbledon's oldest slinger in town, but despite being the wrong side of 30, the injury-plagued German believes he is still a match for the sport's young stars.
The 31-year-old, who first played Wimbledon back in 1997, made it to his first All England Club quarter-final on Monday with a convincing 7-6 (10/8), 6-4, 6-4 win over Russia's Igor Andreev.
"Age is really just a number in many ways. I know that I am 31 but I have a few more miles in my legs than maybe some other players that are younger than me," said Haas who would be the oldest champion since Arthur Ashe in 1975 if he were to clinch the title.
"Once you're out there, I think you leave that all behind and just go out there and compete and try to win."
Haas, a former world number two, has struggled with a succession of injuries in recent years and missed the second half of last season because of a recurrence of a shoulder injury.
But he has been in rich form this summer, taking a two sets lead against Roger Federer in the fourth round at the French Open before going on to win the Halle grasscourt tournament in the run-up to Wimbledon.
Haas believes that his extended lay-offs may now be working in his favour.
"I was injured a lot so that helped because I was forced to be on the sidelines too many times for my liking," said Haas who faces Serbian fourth seed Novak Djokovic for a place in the semi-finals.
"So maybe there's some time left. If you still continue to play well and have some success every now and then, this is what you play for.
"If you had told me maybe even two months ago that I was going to get to the quarters of Wimbledon, I wouldn't be that sure about it," said the German who is taking part in his 11th Wimbledon.
"This is a fantastic run no matter what happens from here on out. I am really happy and pleased to make it to the elite eight."