Djokovic upset by 34-year-old Haas at Sony Open

Moments before the match, Tommy Haas sat in his changeover chair

jiggling his legs, eager to face the world’s No. 1-ranked player

and old enough to know such chances don’t often come along.

Haas took advantage Tuesday night, beating three-time champion

Novak Djokovic in the fourth round of the Sony Open, 6-2, 6-4. The

upset snapped Djokovic’s 14-match winning streak at Key Biscayne,

where he won the tournament the past two years.

Eight days shy of his 35th birthday, Haas became the oldest man

in 30 years to beat a No. 1 player.

”Playing against someone like Novak and coming out on top at

this time of my career, it’s unbelievable,” Haas said. ”This is

what I play for.”

Haas improved to 2-14 versus No. 1 players. His only other win

came against Andre Agassi in 1999.

The top-ranked Djokovic has lost two of his past four matches

after winning 22 in a row, including the Australian Open for his

sixth Grand Slam title.

”All the credit to Tommy,” Djokovic said. ”He played a great

match and he was the better player, no question about it.”

The oldest player in the top 50, Haas is making his 13th

appearance at Key Biscayne and advanced to the tournament’s

quarterfinals for the first time. His opponent Wednesday night will

be No. 11 Gilles Simon, who rallied past No. 7 Janko Tipsarevic,

5-7, 6-2, 6-2.

With Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer skipping the tournament,

Djokovic’s defeat clears a path for Andy Murray, the 2009 champion

and 2012 runner-up.

He beat No. 16 Andreas Seppi 6-2, 6-4 and was to play Wednesday

against No. 9 Marin Cilic, who defeated No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

7-5, 7-6 (4).

No. 3 David Ferrer will play unseeded Jurgen Melzer on

Wednesday. No. 4 Tomas Berdych will face No. 8 Richard Gasquet on

Thursday.

Sam Querrey lasted only 50 minutes in the fourth round and lost

to Berdych, 6-1, 6-1. Querrey was playing his first tournament as

the No. 1 American on the ATP Tour, and his elimination means that

for the first time, the 28-year-old tournament will have no U.S.

men in the quarterfinals.

The shutout is the latest sign of declining fortunes for

American tennis.

”I guess you could say it’s been somewhat of the norm the last

couple of years,” Querrey said. ”It’s not like we had guys in the

quarters week in, week out.”

American results on the women’s side have been better lately,

thanks mostly to No. 1-ranked Serena Williams. The five-time Key

Biscayne champion advanced to Thursday’s semifinals and tied the

women’s record for career victories in the tournament by beating

No. 5-seeded Li Na 6-3, 7-6 (5).

Williams’ opponent in the semifinals Thursday will be defending

champion Agnieszka Radwanska, who hit a desperation shot behind her

back for a winner en route to a win over No. 30 Kirsten Flipkens,

4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

With temperatures in the 50s for the final match of the night,

Djokovic appeared out of sorts from the start. During his second

service game he became annoyed at fans shouting as he was about to

serve.

”It’s definitely the worst match I have played in a long

time,” Djokovic said. ”I just didn’t feel good on the court.

Conditions were really much, much different from what I have played

in previous matches. Balls didn’t bounce at all.”

For the final few games, Haas wore a lavender shirt, a red

sweatband, black shoes with lime trim and a blue cap. In other

words, he won ugly.

”Yeah, I’m pretty pathetic I think when it comes to color

matching,” he said. ”Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror

before I go out and I’m like, `Geez, what was I thinking?’ I guess

if I maybe had a clothing contract it would be different.”

Haas, who is ranked 18th, has been as high as No. 2 – way back

in 2002. He tumbled to No. 373 at the beginning of 2011 after

requiring hip and elbow surgery.

The German closed out the victory with a forehand winner, then

shared a warm exchange at the net with a gracious Djokovic, who

gave the crowd a wave as he left the court.

”I was fighting,” Djokovic said. ”I was trying, all the way

up to the last ball. There are days where you just don’t feel good

on the court. Nothing really goes your way. This is one of those

days. But all the credit to him for making me play this bad.”