Germany’s Tommy Haas and France’s Fabrice Santoro accept two of the three available wild cards and will join previously announced players James Blake, Andy Murray, Dmitry Tursunov and others at the 2008 Indianapolis Tennis Championships Presented by Lilly, July 12-20, at the Indianapolis Tennis Center on the campus of IUPUI.
“We are excited that the former world No. 2 has accepted a wild card into our event,” said Indianapolis Tennis Championships Tournament Director Kevin Martin. “When Haas turned pro he was looked at carrying the torch for Germany after Boris Becker’s retirement with the talent he has. Haas’ ability has been tempered by an unfortunate string of injuries throughout his career but when he is healthy, he is considered one of the top players in the game.”
For the last 7 years, the one-time world No. 2 (May 13, 2002), and currently the No. 38 ranked ATP player Tommy Haas, has seen his tennis career hampered by a shoulder injury, which has caused him to play only a very limited schedule in 2008. Wimbledon was his first Grand Slam event of the year and only 9th tournament. He missed the Australian Open while recovering from right shoulder surgery and also the French Open with the same recurring shoulder injury. He returned from a six-week lay-off at Halle and advanced to the 2nd round. At Wimbledon he won back-to-back matches for the first time since AMS Indian Wells when he advanced to the quarterfinals. He lost in the 3rd round at Wimbledon to Andy Murray.
“I’m happy that right now I’m injury-free, that I’m capable of playing some of my best tennis, and that it’s at this time in Wimbledon,” Tommy Haas said during Wimbledon. “I didn’t know if I was ever gonna come back. I’ve much more succeeded my dreams after these surgeries than I though I was capable of.”
In 2007 Haas finished as the No. 1 German and ranked No. 12 in the world. He repeated his title effort in Memphis and advanced to the quarterfinals or better in two Grand Slam events in the same year for first time in his career. Haas opened the 2007 campaign by reaching the semifinals for the third time at the Australian Open. He captured his 11th career singles title without facing a break point in 47 games when he defeated Andy Roddick. Haas advanced to quarterfinals at US Open for third time in four years defeating James Blake before losing to Nikolay Davydenko. Haas has a 8-6 life-time record in Indianapolis with best finishes coming in semifinals 2002 and quarterfinals 1996.
The oldest player at 35 years-old to finish in the year-end Top 50 in 2007 Fabrice Santoro was given the nickname “The Magician” by Pete Sampras for his craftiness around the court. In 2007 he put together his best season in five years and finished No. 37 on ATP Rankings. In July, Santoro captured his fifth career ATP title in Newport and also appeared in his 61st career Grand Slam tournament at 2007 US Open, equaling Andre Agassi’s Open Era mark (since 1968). He is currently ranked No. 54 and entered 2008 Wimbledon playing in his 13th Wimbledon, record 64th Grand Slam and 40th consecutive which is the longest active streak of Open Era Grand Slam appearances.