Germany’s Tommy Haas spoiled Roger Federer’s grass-court season debut on Wednesday, upsetting the Australian Open champion 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 in the Mercedes Cup second round.
“I’m a little speechless that I beat him today,” said Haas. “It’s been awhile since I have won back-to-back matches and to do it today against Roger is obviously one of my career highlights. It’s a very special feeling.”
The 39-year old entered Wednesday’s match ranked 303rd in the world and was playing Federer, who had no appeared in a match since he won the Miami Open title on April 2. Federer looked as if he would cruise early, needing only 23 minutes to win the opening set.
Federer would get an early break in the second set but Haas got himself into the match with a break to even it at 2-2, and the set would eventually head to a tiebreaker. Haas saved a match point at 7-8 in the breaker and would go on to win the set after Federer double-faulted.
The German saved three break points at 1-2 in the third set and proceeded to break Federer in the ensuing game. He would not lose serve in the final set, saving four more break points in the process to close out the match and beat Federer for the first time since 2012.
“Tommy definitely played well when he had to. He hung around and was able to push me in the second set,” said Federer. “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.”
Haas will take on fellow German Mischa Zverev next. Zverev knocked off qualifier Yannick Hanfmann 7-6(1), 6-2 in his match on Wednesday.
New York Tennis Magazine Staff
The New York Tennis Magazine Staff is comprised of tennis pros, tennis coaches and tennis writers