February 19, 2014 / 6:16 AM / 5 years ago

Evergreen Haas eases to opening win at Delray Beach

(Reuters) - Tommy Haas may be at an age when most professionals are winding down their careers but the 35-year-old German proved he still has plenty to offer with a dominant first round victory at the Delray Beach Open on Tuesday.

Tommy Haas of Germany hits a shot against Sam Querrey of the U.S. during their men's singles match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament October 7, 2013. REUTERS/Aly Song

When fully fit, the top-seeded Haas can still compete with the very best on the tour and he confirmed his form and fitness against America’s Wayne Odesnik, needing just 55 minutes to reel off a 6-2 6-1 victory at the Las Vegas event.

“With injuries, I lost probably three or four years of my career,” Haas, ranked 12th in the world, told reporters.

“I always felt I wanted to end this on my terms, like when the mind is not there anymore or physically I can’t do it anymore. I just want to continue and enjoy.”

Haas, who once rose as high as number two in the world, never faced a break point during his lopsided win and is looking to win the tournament for the first time since 2006.

On a day when veterans were keen to impose themselves, former world number one Lleyton Hewitt was equally as impressive in his 6-3 6-1 demolition of another unseeded American, Bradley Klahn.

The 32-year-old Australian, who captured this title back in 1999, would have been delighted with his display, particularly as the eighth seed’s compatriot and golf legend Greg Norman was one of the spectators.

The younger seeded players in the draw had a much tougher time advancing, however, including John Isner, who rallied from a set down to edge fellow American Michael Russell 4-6 7-6 6-4.

Isner, seeded two, needed every one of his 20 aces to prevail and was unable to crack Russell’s serve in the first two sets before breaking his opponent twice in the decisive third.

Kei Nishikori and Kevin Anderson, the third and fourth seeds respectively, also needed a full three sets to eke out wins.

Japan’s Nishikori outlasted Portugal’s Gastao Elias 6-1 5-7 6-2 while South Africa’s Anderson rallied past American Tim Smyczek 4-6 6-1 6-3.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien

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