Enter the dragon: Iguana interrupts play during Vesely vs. Haas match in Miami

A packed house crammed into Court 1 to see what turned to be Tommy Haas’ last match at the Miami Open on Wednesday afternoon.

Humans and reptiles alike.

A large iguana joined the festivities with Haas serving at 3-3 in the third set, first appearing on the scoreboard to the chair umpire’s left before dodging multiple attempts at its capture. The iguana eventually ran across the court, climbed onto the other scoreboard, and tried–unsuccessfully–to jump over the back fence. It was finally caught and taken away after seven minutes of fame and glory.

“It’s a big one,” the chair umpire commented at one point, adding that “it’s not a dangerous animal.”

“I cannot concentrate,” Vesely said.

“Maybe the iguana got the note that this is most likely the last time I’m playing here, and he wanted to say ‘Hi’ and take a peek or something,” Haas joked. “I don’t know, but it was pretty cool. Of that size, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that. I don’t know where he came from and why he wanted to come out on Court 1 and kind of say hello to everyone.”

Haas said a hello of his own by taking a selfie with the iguana as it was perched atop one of the two scoreboards.

“It was fun,” the 38-year-old added. “I thought that’s an interesting picture to take. I don’t think it’ll ever happen again, to be honest…especially in my career–because it’s almost over, anyway. It’s nice for him to stop by. Good-looking iguana.”

The rest of the match was not as good for Haas, who ended up losing 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5 after two hours and 36 minutes. The veteran German assured during his post-match press conference that this would be his last visit to Miami as a player. He plans on playing some on clay and grass this summer before mulling retirement.

Haas, now the tournament director in Indian Wells, will focus on those duties when he calls it quits on his career later this season.

As the iguana might tell Haas: “You say goodbye, and I say hello.”



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