Haas hits 500 wins
Originally published on: 19/10/12 00:00
The injury-plagued German became the 38th player in the Open Era to notch half a century of career wins after seeing off Jesse Levine 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.
“It's incredible I've reached that mark,” said Haas, who returned to the top 20 this week after a quarter-final run in Shanghai. “I had hardly played for three and a half years before returning to the tour a year ago. I was even hungrier for success and getting to 500 wins became a major goal of mine.
“In April, I was at around 472 wins and I knew it wouldn't be easy to win another 27 or 28 matches,” explained Haas, who was presented with a special Fiat 500 to mark the occasion. “It makes me really proud and for sure this is one of my biggest achievements after everything that happened. The fact that it happened here in Vienna makes it very special. Getting such a gift on top of it makes it an amazing day for me.”
Haas joins only three other active players – Roger Federer (871), Rafael Nadal (583) and Lleyton Hewitt (566) – in the 500-match wins club.
“For now I’m focusing on next year,” said the four-time Grand Slam semi-finalist, who won his only title of the year in Halle after upsetting Roger Federer in the final. “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.”
The 34-year-old now faces Grega Zemlja of Slovenia for a spot in the semi-finals in Austria.
Top 10 all-time win leaders
1. Jimmy Connors – 1243
2. Ivan Lendl – 1071
3. Guillermo Vilas – 923
4. John McEnroe – 875
5. Roger Federer – 871
6. Andre Agassi – 870
7. Stefan Edberg – 801
8. Pete Sampras – 762
9. Ilie Nastase – 749
10. Boris Becker – 713