Germany's veteran tennis star Tommy Haas has stated that Roger Federer is one of the best people he has ever met in his life owing to the humility the Swiss maestro possesses. The 39-year old has also stated that Federer is one of the most important sports personality in the history.
Tommy Haas was scheduled to compete with Federer in the latter's first professional match of the career in 1998. However, the 39-year old did not compete in the match and it was Lucas Arnold who beat the current World No. 3. Haas expressed disdain in not being able to be the one to defeat the young Federer who has now become a legend in tennis.
"I am angry for not being able to say: 'Tell me Roger, who beat you in your first match as professional?'" the 39-year-old told GQ magazine.
The German lavished praises on the Swiss for his humility that makes him even better human being than a player.
"I am privileged to be his friend. Roger is one of the most important sportsmen in the history, and one of the best people I ever met as well. He is a role model for any younger player. He treats everyone in the same way.
"He says hello with the same smile to a big tournament director or a staff member that takes care about courts," said Haas who found his first win against the Swiss at the 2000 Sydney Olympics semi-finals defeating Federer by 6-3, 6-2.
"He always told me that it was his most painful loss against me. But in Sydney, he met his future wife Mirka. Our families get along well each other. My children play with Roger's. And when we are all around the table, we rarely speak about tennis," Haas said.
Federer made a triumphant return to the court winning the Australian Open to kick start his year followed by victories at Indian Wells, Miami Open, and bagging his historic eighth title at Wimbledon. Haas who recently took on the post of the tournament director at Indian Wells spoke about Federer's victory at the event.
Interestingly, Haas was the only player who defeated Federer in the opening round at the Stuttgart Open when the Swiss was en route to his eighth Wimbledon title.
"He always told me that it was his most painful loss against me. But in Sydney he met his future wife Mirka. Our families get along well each other. My children play with Roger's. And when we are all around the table, we rarely speak about tennis," said Haas.