Tommy Haas returns at French Open, but loses

After more than a year off the court, Tommy Haas made a
not-so-triumphant return to tennis Monday at the French Open.

The former second-ranked player from Germany has not played a
singles match in 15 months, and his first foray back into the mix
ended with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4 loss to Marsel Ilhan of
Turkey.

”You never really know what to expect when you haven’t played a
real match in a really long time, especially when your body is
still not there where you want it to be,” Haas said. ”Overall, a
little bit nervous in the beginning, and sort of felt like my
strokes are still there.”

Haas last played a singles match on the men’s tour in February
2010, and he then had surgery on his right hip.

”The balance needs to be worked on, body still needs to be
stronger,” Haas said. ”Overall, I’m happy to be able to finish
the match.

”It wasn’t ideal for me to start at the French. I have been
trying the past couple weeks to maybe get a few matches in, but my
body just didn’t allow me to.”

Haas has reached the semifinals at a Grand Slam tournament four
times, the last one at Wimbledon in 2009.

Getting back to that level is now the goal.

”I’m just kind of right there where I’m not sure where the body
will be,” Haas said. ”All I try to do is to get it back to a
place where I feel really comfortable for a few hours playing a
match. And if that’s possible, then I’ll continue to play if I
still have some success.”