21 Years Later, Haas Beats Moya For Another Big Win
by ATP Staff|
Twenty-one years ago, Tommy Haas was a 19-year-old seeking to make his mark on the ATP World Tour. The German was in only his second year of professional tennis, and was No. 126 in the ATP Rankings.
But in May 1997 in Hamburg, Haas earned that big win and breakthrough result, beating No. 9 Carlos Moya of Spain for his first Top 10 win and making the semi-finals of the then-ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament on clay.
Both players went on to win multiple titles and ascend the ATP Rankings – Moya reached No. 1, Haas No. 2 – before retiring. But they're still competitive on the ATP Champions Tour, and on Sunday at the Legends Cup in Mallorca, Haas earned another big win against Moya.
The 40-year-old, in his first ATP Champions Tour tournament, beat the home favourite 6-4, 6-2 in the final at the Palma Sport & Tennis Club.
“This tournament win was a great honour and pleasure playing against some of the greatest players and legends of the game. It was a fantastic crowd and tough to find a better venue than here in Mallorca. There is a great tennis tradition with Carlos and Rafa here. To win my first Legends Cup here is very special,” Haas said.
“It was also interesting and something nice in that my first Top 10 win on tour was against Carlos and now my first Legends win as well!”
Haas beat a trio of Spaniards to win his first ATP Champions Tour title, knocking out Alex Corretja and Juan Carlos Ferrero en route to the final. He's already looking forward to his next ATP Champions Tour event.
“It is a testimony to this sport to see former champions still playing at such a high level. The ATP Champions Tour is a wonderful way for so many fans to see and meet some of their (and my own) idols of the game. I am looking forward to many more ATP Champions Tour events in the future!” Haas said.
In the third-place match, held before the final, Ferrero rebounded to beat Belgium Xavier Malisse 6-3, 6-4. The two good friends entertained the crowd with exciting rallies in the penultimate singles match of the event.
“It’s always great to be back on the court competing a little bit and obviously to be home in Spain is a plus, and it was nice to come back here to Mallorca after a very long time. So it was fun and I hope to come back very soon,” Ferrero said.
“[Malisse] has a lot of talent, so I think we had fun with great points, great rallies and great memories from the past, so I look forward to see him in London, so I will see if we can play there.”
Both Malisse and Ferrero plan to compete at the Champions Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall in London, to be held 6-9 December.
“That tournament is very special and to play in that theatre is something that is unique and a very good experience so I’m looking forward to playing again,” Ferrero said. “After last year, where I won the tournament, I am expecting to be ready on indoor courts, which is so different to here, but I think I will be ready.”