Tennis: Haas Struggling For Fitness For Beijing Olympics

BREMEN, Germany : Former world number two Tommy Haas is doubtful for August’s Beijing Olympics after withdrawing from Germany’s Davis Cup quarter-final against Spain later this month.

Haas – who has dropped to 36 in the world from his number-two rank in 2002 – recently withdrew from the ATP tournament in Miami and has had problems with his right shoulder as well as suffering with a sinus infection.

To protect his shoulder, on which he had an operation late last year, Haas has withdrawn from this month’s Davis Cup clash against Spain and faces a race against time to be fit for Beijing.

But Haas insists he has no choice but to rest and miss the Davis Cup clash.

“The decision to withdraw was difficult, but my doctors advised me to take a long break,” said Haas.

Germany’s Nicolas Kiefer, ranked 51st in the world, will be fit to play in the Davis Cup, but the loss of Haas is a blow against a Spain side containing the likes of Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer when the sides meet in Bremen between April 11-13.

“Against such a Spanish team, we can only be the under-dogs, but with the support of our home fans and the speed of the surface we have to be positive,” said Germany captain Patrik Kuehnen.

The Spanish team includes Nadal, world number two, and Ferrer, fifth in the ATP rankings, plus Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco, giving 2007 semi-finalists Germany a mountain to climb.

Kuehnen will also be without doubles specialist Alexander Waske, who is recovering from a hand injury. – AFP/de

Channel News Asia

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