Tommy Haas withdraws from semis
Just when he was starting to find some form, Tommy Haas has been hit with another injury setback.
A back injury suffered while trying to loosen up before Saturday's semifinals of the $125,000 Dallas Tennis Classic prompted Haas, formerly ranked as high as No. 2 in the world, to withdraw from the tournament and send Canadian qualifier Frank Dancevic straight into Sunday's 1 p.m. final.
"Right before the match my back locked up extremely badly," Haas told the crowd after trying to get through pre-match warmups with Dancevic and quickly deciding that playing on would be futile.
"It's too painful to play," Haas continued, clearly exasperated by the sudden turn of events that forced him to default the match. "So sorry I can't play this match unfortunately. It's (been) a good week, but -- the injuries are part of my career, I guess, so this is just another nice little thing I can add onto my list."
Dancevic, ranked No. 175 in the world, will face former world No. 18 Igor Andreev of Russia for the singles crown after Andreev posted a 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-2) victory over Germany's Bjorn Phau in Saturday's other semifinal at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas.
Playing in his first Challenger Tour event since his first year as a pro in 1996, Haas won his first three matches this week without the loss of a set, including a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over big-serving Gilles Muller in Friday's quarterfinals with countryman and good buddy Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks watching in a baseline box.
It remains to be seen whether Haas, who has dropped to No. 169 in the rankings after myriad injuries, will be healthy enough to play in next week's Sony Ericsson Open in Miami as scheduled.
Dancevic and Andreev have played twice before, splitting two matches in 2009. Sunday's singles and doubles finals will be televised by TXA 21.
The doubles final pits top-seeded Santiago Gonzalez (Mexico) and Scott Lipsky (USA) against the unseeded American duo of Bobby Reynolds and Michael Russell. Lipsky and David Martin won the doubles title last month at the Challenger event at T Bar M Racquet Club in Dallas.