STUTTGART, June 14, 2017
Tommy Haas has become the lowest-ranked player to beat Roger Federer since World No. 407 Bjorn Phau at the Citi Open in Washington. The 39-year-old German knocked out the top seed of the MercedesCup in the second round on Wednesday, rallying 2-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Haas, currently ranked World No. 302, withstood 23 aces, hitting 12 of his own. He saved one match point in the tie-break of the second set, gained his second and decisive break in the third set to prevail in one hour and 54 minutes.
“Pretty speechless,” Haas said on court after the match. “Playing Roger is always very special, especially on grass, especially here in Germany. It’s tough to be put it in words right now. A lot of emotions… Still sort of shocked myself.”
Haas is also the oldest player to beat a Top 5 opponent since Jimmy Connors defeated World No. 3 Michael Stich in the second round in Memphis 1992.
“At the same time he’s a very close friend of mine so it doesn’t feel like such a celebration in that sense. This is my last phase, so the emotions are different from what they would have been a few years ago. This is sport. Unfortunately, one person has to lose and lately a lot of the time it has been me. I was happy to be out there in front of a German crowd playing against a friend, an idol, a legend, the greatest ever. It’s fantastic. We were both a bit nervous but I served and moved well. That was the key.”
Federer: “It wasn’t all bad, not at all!”
“I thought it was a typical grass-court match today. Rallies weren’t very long and it was decided on a serve there or a return here. If you don’t take your chances like I didn’t, leading a set and a break, you really only have yourself to blame at the end. You’ve got to acknowledge the fact that he was a bit better. It’s quite frustrating, but that’s the way it goes sometimes,” said Federer, who will next play at the ATP 500 Gerry Weber Open in Halle starting on Monday.
“It wasn’t all bad, not at all. There were definitely some good moments, but I definitely was not as sharp as I was hoping to be in maybe the big moments, or the moment when I had the lead and where I feel I should have been cruising from that moment on. I definitely made some crucial mistakes and judgment errors.
“Tommy definitely played well when he had to. He hung around and was able to push me in the second set. In the third set I couldn’t get up to the level I wanted. I should have somehow broken him once, but I wasn’t able to do that.”
Zverev And Kohlschreiber Advance
In his first quarterfinal since the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome in 2014, Haas will face fellow German Mischa Zverev, who saved 10 of 11 break points to beat qualifier and compatriot Yannick Hanfmann 7-6, 6-2 in 83 minutes.
2016 Stuttgart finalist Philipp Kohschreiber also advanced to the quarterfinals. The 33-year-old from Augsburg battled past fifth seed Steve Johnson from the United States, winning 7-6, 5-7, 7-6. Kohlschreiber won 80 per cent of his first service points and broke serve five times to secure victory after two hours and 36 minutes.
Next up for Kohlschreiber will be fourth seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille, who saved one match point to overcome Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 in two hours and 19 minutes.