STUTTGART, Germany (AP) Roger Federer was beaten on his return from a two-month break, losing 2-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4 to German veteran Tommy Haas in the second round of the Stuttgart Open on Wednesday.
The 39-year-old Haas, who is playing his last season before retirement, saved nine of the 12 break points he faced and converted two of his three chances to deal the Swiss great just his second defeat of the season.
“I’ve even shocked myself a bit,” said Haas, who is ranked 302nd and was given a wild card for the grass-court tournament. “I’m a bit speechless. It’s hard to find words.”
Haas, a two-time Halle champion who hadn’t beaten his good friend since the 2012 final in Halle, improved to 4-13 against Federer, who hadn’t played since winning the Miami Open in early April.
The 35-year-old Swiss skipped the clay-court season to recuperate from a busy start to the year that saw him capture his 18th Grand Slam at the Australian Open.
Federer claimed his last grass-court title in 2015 in Halle, where he is an eight-time champion.
Earlier Wednesday, Philipp Kohlschreiber upset the fifth-seeded Steve Johnson of the United States 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-6 (6), while the sixth-seeded Mischa Zverev, another German, defeated qualifier Yannick Hanfmann 7-6 (1), 6-2 to secure his place in the quarterfinals.
LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.
At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.
The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.
Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.
“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has withdrawn from next month’s Australian Open after having surgery on her left wrist.
Tennis Australia on Friday said No. 12-ranked Kuznetsova and China’s Sasai Zheng, with a right knee injury, were the only players ranked in the top 100 who are confirmed as not playing the Jan. 15-28 tournament at Melbourne Park.
Serena Williams, who was pregnant while winning the 2017 Australian Open title and gave birth to her first child in September, “is anticipated to return,” Tennis Australia said.
Williams could equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles with another win at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams’ ranking has dropped to No. 22 during her break from the tour.