IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy’s Grand Slam Players
Leading up to Wimbledon 2012 we will feature one “Grand Slam player” a day. All of the players have spent time at IMG Academies and with Nick Bollettieri. They will also in the draw at this years tournament. Come back each day for insight into the players that only Nick Bollettieri can offer.
Day 1: Tommy Haas
A young boy came to the Academy when was 12 years of age, he only stayed a few nights in the dormitory and then he was done. He flew back home to Germany saying, “I want to be home.”
That didn’t last long either; he came back to the Academy when he was 13. I took to him and moved him into my condo complex, 4 adjoining units that I turned into one. Also there at the time was a girl by the name of Anna Kournikova.
The young boy showed signs of brilliance including a super one handed backhand. Along the way he won the prestigious Orange Bowl 18’s division and then turned pro.
This boy’s name is Tommy Haas, he could play any style of play but was very emotional and just about anything would bother him when he was on the court.
Tommy reached a world ranking of #2 but he suffered physically and would need 3 major shoulder operations that would have ended the career of most players. Haas is now 34 years old and his ranking had slipped down to over #300.
Tommy refused to throw in the towel and slowly but surely he began to show the world that he could still play. I am thrilled to say that he just won Halle, the warm-up to Wimbledon, beating Roger Federer in the finals.
During play he was so strong mentally and physically and you could tell he was enjoying the opportunity of playing being able to play again.
Going into Wimbledon he is #48 in the world and there is no stopping him. When Tommy Haas called me after his victory he said, “Nick you never stopped believing in me and I love you.”
I want to give a big congratulations to Tommy, his wife Sarah Foster (daughter of famous Composer, David Foster), and their beautiful young daughter. Tommy is a great example of why you never say, “ I CANT DO IT!”