Tennis (Life) Birthdays – April 6, 2019

Robin Haase (NED), 32

Haase is a player we always figured should be consistently better than he has been because his upside is high. Still, he’s having a solid career.

When you’ve been inside the top 100 for all but a month over the last nearly nine years, you’re doing something very right.

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The Dutchman’s career high was No. 33 back in 2012, and he has two career ATP Tour titles – both in Kitzbuhel, in 2011 and 2012.

In doubles, he reached a career best of No. 31 just before last year’s US Open, with five career titles.

Top juniors often don’t go on to successful pro careers. But Haase has.

He was No. 3 in the world back in 2005, and reached the Wimbledon junior final that year (beating Marin Cilic on the way, before losing to Jérémy Chardy). He also was a semifinalist at the Australian Open juniors and beat Juan Martin del Potro to win the Coffee Bowl in Costa Rica early in 2005.

After right knee surgeries in 2008 and 2009, Haase was voted ATP Comeback player of the year in 2010. But since then, he seems to have been able to remain relatively injury free during his career, no small feat as much as he plays.

He has just two wins against top-five players in his career (both have come against Alexander Zverev). So those are the types of matches that stop potential deep runs. But he does have career wins over Thiem, Wawrinka, Tsonga, Murray and Berdych when they were in the top 10 (per Tennis Abstract).

This week, Haase played the Mouratoglou Open Challenger in France, where he lost to Dustin Brown in the second round.  But he finds himself in the doubles final with suddenly resurgent countryman Thiemo de Bakker.

It’s his first tournament at the Challenger level in almost two years.

Most impressive is his devotion to Davis Cup. Haase has played every year since 2006, 23 ties in all. He’s 27-14 in singles, and 10-8 in doubles.

Haase won both his singles matches (and doubles with Jean-Julien Rojer) in February to help the Netherlands qualify for the Davis Cup Finals over the Czech Republic.

All that, and he’s on the current Player Council of the ATP, a body that has a lot of decisions and work to do this year. It’s his second go-round on the Council.

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