Miami Shocker: Da Jokes’ On Djoker

To say Tommy Haas has had an injury plagued career is a gross understatement. A more accurate description would be that since joining the professional tour in 1996, he’s had a career of injury interrupted by brief stints on tour. During those injury-free periods, Haas flashed glimmers of brilliance, shades of enormous possibilities.Haas

But Haas has not been fortunate enough to have had an extended season of injury-free tennis in which he could realize that great potential. Still, along the way, he has beaten some of the best players on the planet.

Only a man of great mental conviction, with an unmitigated love of the game, could or would continue doggedly along the path he’s traveled to reach this point in time.

It paid off.

In the fourth round of the Sony Open, on an unseasonably cool evening in Miami, at 34 years of age, improbably, Haas knocked Novak Djokovic out of the tournament.

He didn’t just a beat a top-ten player, he beat world number one, the top tenner.

Haas’s victory was a masterpiece of “demolition by disruption.”

He played heady, high percentage tennis employing an all-court game resplendent with variety. He coaxed, prodded and when most appropriate, forced Djokovic into committing an uncharacteristically high number of errors.

For his part, Djokovic appeared more bewildered than vexed by what was going down. He seemed to lack that escape artist ability he usually summons when in tight predicaments. He didn’t even go into his “f**k it” mode and just start hitting winners in clusters to get himself back into the groove.

Tommy Haas has had enough injuries and surgery to have discouraged the most resolute of men, yet he has not faltered. From each setback he has come back. He’s fulfilled the requirements necessary to rehab and again reach the elite level of tennis.

That’s a lot of grueling work!

He’s paid his dues many times over.

Tommy Haas deserved his win over Novak Djokovic.


He earned it, he damned sure earned it.


7 thoughts on “Miami Shocker: Da Jokes’ On Djoker

  1. Excellent article as usual. To the point. I was even more impressed by his brilliant play the next day against Simon. I cannot resist the following pun :
    “. Tommy is certainly no Haas been. “

      • Thanks for your reply. I still cannot believe Djokovic made so many mistakes in both the Haas and the previous match against Devvarman. Is it maybe because of his training, adjusting certain things, in view of his eventual encounter with NADAL and the clay at Roland Garros. I maybe wrong, please correct me if I am, but it seemed to me that there was a lot of lift in his return shots where it is not very effective on a hard surface unless your name is NADAL. We know how accurate Djokovic can be aiming those baselines. Looking forward to your comment.

      • Johnny YJS. Generally speaking, players don’t actually want to peak to early at any major event, so I can understand Djokovic’s third round errors, however, his errors against Haas were precipitated by Haas. Haas took Djoker completely out of his rhythm which forced many of those errors. Did you notice how often Novak was left just shaking his head while smiling? He was perplexed.
        I do think your observation concerning a possible meeting with Nadal at the French could have something to do with all as well. Elite players make long range plans for the slams. That’s their primary focus.

  2. I’ve always been impressed with Haas’s game. He is a “complete” player…very good backhand and vollrying skills. Both are needed to beat the Joker!! I hope him continued success !!

  3. Thanks Martin for your reply. Pointing out the difference between the two matches regarding the errors is absolutely right. The key to Haas’s success was,of course, as you said, the speed of his aggressiveness not giving Djokovic time to organize his defense.

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