Tommy Haas, the former World No. 2, currently has no ranking points. However, the 38-year-old is into the 2017 Australian Open with a protected ranking. He will open his tournament against Benoit Paire, a player that has not been sharp so far this season. When you're unseeded in a Grand Slam and unranked, a winnable match is about all you could ask for, and Haas has just that.

Haas the last connection to the 1990s

But Haas is no less of a relic, nearly 15 years removed from the best parts of his playing career. Furthermore, Haas enters the 2017 Australian Open ten years removed from his last semifinal appearance at the event, a 2007 loss to Fernando Gonzalez.

In a sport when excellent players, like Gonzalez, often retire in their early 30s, Haas is a strange name to see in a Grand Slam draw. He is in fact the last link to the 20th century for men's singles at the 2017 Australian Open.

If you're wondering, Roger Federer did contest majors in the last century as he was in both the 1999 French Open and Wimbledon 1999. However, the Swiss Maestro fell in qualifying at the 1999 Australian Open and thus did not appear in the main draw until the next season. Haas was in the main draw of the 1999 event and he was also in the main draw of the 1998 event.

In that year Haas played in the first round against Albert Costa, who was seeded 16th that season. Besides the German, who lost to Costa, every other player in the field of 128 at the men's tournament has since retired from singles.

Daniel Nestor and Leander Paes still have doubles careers, but there are no singles players from the 1998 tournament besides Haas still playing. This will be true regardless of who wins the qualifiers. In the 19 years between the 1998 Aussie and the 2017 Aussie, the entire field has turned over besides this one connection.

Men's Aussie field turned over from 1997

If you go back just one more year then there are no connections at all unless you cross connect singles and doubles (ie. Nestor and Paes were in the 1997 singles draw). If you permit recently retired connections, then Lleyton Hewitt was in the 1997 Aussie, the former World No.

1 having retired a year ago. However, two decades of Tennis at Melbourne Park has otherwise turned the field of 128 completely over.

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