via The Sports Xchange
Tommy Haas of Germany, one of the oldest players on the tour, beat a player 20 years younger than him in the first round of the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship on Monday in Houston, eliminating American Reilly Opelka 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3.
The age disparity between the 39-year-old Haas and the 19-year-old Opelka is the eighth-largest gap in an ATP World Tour or Grand Slam match since 1985.
The largest age gap in that span occurred when 18-year-old Dominic Thiem defeated 44-year-old Thomas Muster in Vienna in 2011.
“It’s nice to win these matches, especially against the young guys who are going to be around for a long time,” Haas said. “The nerves when you’re trying to win a match are something you can’t practice. You can run all day on the treadmill, be in the gym a lot, but you can’t substitute that for match play. Hopefully I can recover well and be ready for Wednesday.”
On Wednesday, Haas will face top-seeded American Jack Sock.
Ranked as high as No. 2 in the world in 2013, Haas is competing on ATP World Tour for the final year. He has a side job as the tournament director of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.
Also Monday, Dustin Brown of Germany defeated defending champion Juan Monaco of Argentina 7-6 (7), 6-3. Brown saved two set points in the opening set.
Nicolas Kicker of Argentina advanced after qualifier Noah Rubin of the United States retired with a right wrist injury with Kicker leading 5-3 in the opening set.