8 Jan 2013

Tougher game now: Haas

1:51 pm on 8 January 2013

The German tennis veteran Tommy Haas believes upsets are far more likely in today's game.

Haas should know - he came from outside the world's top 200 last season to reach number 21, beating Roger Federer to win his 13th career ATP title and finishing as the Tour's comeback player of 2012.

The 34-year-old is back at Auckland's Heineken Open after his big year - which wasn't as dramatic as Jerzy Janowicz's. The Polish fifth seed climbed 195 places in the world rankings after his giant-killing run at the Paris Masters, where he lost in the final to the champion David Ferrer... who's also the defending Auckland champion.

All three players are here to compete this week - Haas says the game's changed from when he started his career.

He says everyone can play and players ranked 90th or qualifiers can beat the top guys and go deep in a tournament.

Haas is the third seed and it's his third time competing in Auckland - he made the final in 1999.