October 1, 2023

Open Court


Shoulder surgery for Tommy Haas

It’s not a huge surprise, given the number of tournaments 36-year-old Tommy Haas has had to retire/withdraw from this year because of the shoulder – starting with the Australian Open in January.

But the German will have surgery, and his 2014 season is over.

He says, however – hope springs eternal – that it’s not the end of his career.

Here’s the quote from a press release.

“The diagnosis was a real shock for me but a surgery can’t be avoided because the injury is very serious. I don’t want to retire from the tennis stage with an injury but would like to end my career on the court. … I’m still totally convinced I’ve good matches and tournaments ahead of me as long as the shoulder operation proves to be successful and my body plays its part.”

He’ll have the surgery, to repair three damanged tendons, Tuesday in New York. It will be the fourth operation on that shoulder; he already had it operated on in December 2002, July 2003 and November 2007.

Here’s what Haas said to ATPTour.com (see a video here).

“It’s been a struggle since the beginning of the year obviously and I’ve already had to retire in matches, which is never fun. Last week I had to take another MRI after Paris because it was a severe thing I felt again in the shoulder. Unfortunately it’s an injury I’ve already had before that was fixed, but my sub-scapular tendon is torn again. … It’s a big step backwards in a long process, but I want to hopefully come back again at some point and finish my career on my own terms when I’m ready for it. I’ll try everything I can.”

To say the least, Haas’s body has not played its part during his career. He has already won the ATP Tour’s Comeback Player of the Year award – twice.

As an aside, the sub-scapularis tendon isn’t the typical tendon that affects tennis players, which is the supra-spinatus. Your humble Open Court servant has calcifications in the sub-scap, and our personal sports physician (LOL – not really) said that it’s the tendon that usually is injured more by boxers than tennis players, for whatever that’s worth. It probably comes down to individual physionomy, and also technique.

Planning to return obviously will give Haas a lot of motivation as he begins the rehab process – a process he has become all-too-familiar with during his star-crossed career.

He said he plans to hit tennis balls left-handed to start. He figures at least four months before he can start hitting right-handed, and eight months before he can return to the Tour.

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