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“At the same time, when I play at certain moments like I did today, you know, I feel like I can definitely still play with some of the big guys and maybe still have some success. That’s the challenge that I have to ask myself, if I’m still willing to do that after so many injuries, after being on the road now for 15 years.”

Haas is a four-time Grand Slam semifinalist, the last time coming at Wimbledon in 2009 before his first surgery.


DAY OFF: Roger Federer pulled out of the Qatar Open with a sore back two weeks ago. On Wednesday, he got a free pass into the third round of the Australian Open when his scheduled opponent withdrew with a similar ailment.

“Surprising. I didn’t know anything about it,” the four-time Australian Open winner said of Andreas Beck’s lower back strain. “He said he had a lot painkillers and pain during the last match.

“Now I’ll just take it easy this afternoon and come out tomorrow and hit intensely, and then I’ll be ready for the next match.”

Beck said he was practicing and “made a wrong step.”

“I couldn’t serve, so I think it doesn’t make sense to play, especially now against Roger,” he said. “For me, it’s the best decision. It’s the beginning of the season and I have to be careful.”

The second-round match had been scheduled for Melbourne Park’s second court, Hisense Arena. It would have marked the first time since 2004 _ a span of 52 matches _ that Federer had played somewhere besides 15,000-seat Rod Laver Arena.

“I knew it’s been a long time since I’ve been on there … but at Wimbledon and at the French we always go at the second court,” Federer said. “I wasn’t disappointed to hear that I was going to play there.”

Federer will play Ivo Karlovic of Croatia in the third round on Friday.


Associated Press writer Justin Bergman contributed to this report.