Tommy Haas returns at French Open, but loses

Tommy Haas has a long way to go. At least now, he’s playing

tennis again.

The former second-ranked player from Germany played his first

singles match in 15 months Monday at the French Open, losing 6-4,

4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4 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. 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.”