London: With all the men playing under the US flag out before the third round, there's still one legitimate American man left in the draw at Wimbledon.
Playing some of the best tennis of his career at age 35, Tommy Haas - who has dual German-American citizenship - reached the third round for the first time since 2009, beating 151st-ranked qualifier Jimmy Wang of Taiwan 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 on Friday. Asked whether he'd be comfortable being identified as the last American standing, Haas smiled and said: "You can write that, sure. That's fine with me."
The 13th-seeded Haas had considered playing as an American - and briefly even had the ATP website list him as an American when he first became a US citizen in January 2010 - but then decided to remain loyal to Germany.
Tommy Haas beat qualifier Jimmy Wang of Taiwan 6-3, 6-2, 7-5. (Getty Images)
"If you had a German-American flag, I would represent that flag but it doesn't exist," Haas said. "In the long run, I played for Germany for too long."
The 13th-seeded Haas never faced a break point on Friday and will face Feliciano Lopez on Saturday. "He is obviously feeling pretty good, no question about it, winning in Eastbourne," Haas said about Lopez. "He's been in the quarters here three times in his career. I'm going to have to play extremely well to have a chance to win that match."
Haas reached the Wimbledon semi-finals four years ago but missed the grass-court tournament in 2010 because of a hip injury, one of a long series of health problems that sidelined him at various points. "I'm so tired of talking about my injuries, to be honest," Haas said. "It's like I'm healthy right now. I'm playing good tennis right now."
He lost in the first round at the All England Club in 2011 and 2012. This month, Haas became the oldest French Open quarter-finalist since 1971. "Yes, I'm 35," he said. "There's nothing I can do about it. I'm later in my career. These are all things that don't matter when you get out there."