Tommy Haas leaves Roland Garros well satisfied with his comeback to tennis after reaching the third round of the French Open.

The 34-year-old LA-based German, a qualifier in Paris who stood second in the world a decade ago, wasn't able to get past Richard Gasquet, losing in four sets.

But the often-injured Haas said his run on the clay gives him major hopes of extending his career.

“It's a Grand Slam, so you have to tell yourself these are the tournaments you want to play.

“That's why I decided to come here and play qualifying, which was obviously not easy leaving home and my family.

Main goal

“But once you make up your mind, you do it. And the main goal was to try to qualify for this event.” Haas added.

“I'm really happy with the last two weeks with the result, getting to the third round. I wish I could have gone further, but, you know, I was defeated by the better player.

“Overall, it was a good experience.

“I'm happy to be back in the top 100, which I think maybe wasn't a chance to get there again.

“All in all, I will take it, and it was a good two weeks for me.”

Blue clay still haunts Nadal

Rafael Nadal could not be more pleased to have reached the second week at his happy hunting ground of Roland Garros, where red clay rules. But despite his best efforts, the No. 2 cannot shake off the disappointment of the Madrid blue clay debacle from his mind.

The Spaniard will need all of his concentration during the concluding days of his bid for a record seventh title in Paris in the face of keen competition from main rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

But even as he tries to focus on the present, the past comes back to haunt him after he vowed never to play in Madrid again as long as the courts are made of the detested blue clay.

Too slippery

“All of the clay court tournaments are in very similar conditions. We cannot accept just in the middle of the clay court season a tournament with completely different conditions,” he said of the surface, which many found too slippery to play on, save the likes of runner-up Tomas Berdych and winner Federer.

“I would like to come back and play in one of my favourite places to play tennis on tour, play with the support of the crowd and the country, and the city is probably bigger than no other one place in the world,” said Nadal.

“For me, if next year the court is blue and I am not able to go there, it will be a big disappointment.”

ATP decision

The court colour will be subject to an ATP decision after Madrid bosses left the court in place in order to let it settle in, season and take on similar aspects to a red clay court.

The blue drew rave reviews from television viewers as it allowed the ball to be seen much more clearly during broadcasts.

Keywords: French Open.

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