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Haas Triumphs Over Federer In Halle Final

Halle, Germany

Haas© Bongarts/Getty ImagesTommy Haas won the Halle title for the second time.

Former World No. 2 Tommy Haas won the Gerry Weber Open title for the second time on Sunday in Halle as he defeated good friend and five-time former champion Roger Federer 7-6(5), 6-4.

“I don’t have many words to say really, except that it is an amazing feeling to win another title in Germany,” said Haas. “[Winning] my thirteenth title was a goal of mine to maybe achieve in the next coming months, years or however long I am going to play. To have somebody across the net like Roger is a real honour for me. To have that picture with the winning trophy and Roger next to me is something really special, something I’ll obviously never forget. I’m just really happy and proud.”

The German had lifted the trophy in 2009 with victory over Novak Djokovic and ended a nine-match losing streak against Federer to win his 13th ATP World Tour title. He has won eight ATP World Tour finals in a row, with his last defeat in a title match coming against Andre Agassi in Rome in 2002.

“It’s probably up there if not the sweetest one considering the injuries, considering not knowing how much longer it would really go or if I can actually get back to a certain level,” Haas said. “Then seeing how I played this week on grass here and beating Roger. It’s probably up there.”

The 34-year-old Haas started the season ranked outside the Top 200 after undergoing hip surgery that kept him out for 14 months between late February 2010 and May 2011. He had returned to the Top 100 at No. 87 with the help of a semi-final showing in Munich (l. to Cilic) and a third-round effort at Roland Garros (l. to Gasquet), and is now projected to leap to around No. 51 after earning 250 South African Airways ATP Rankings points.

Coming into the final, Haas had not beaten Federer since the 2002 Australian Open fourth round. Haas recovered from 1-3 down in the first set, levelling in the sixth game before prevailing in the subsequent tie-break. He then broke Federer in the ninth game of the second set after chasing down a drop shot to hit a backhand winner and served out the match in one hour and 35 minutes.

“I should never have lost the first set. So, obviously that hurt,” said Federer. “He got momentum after that. He started to serve a bit better. I missed a few more forehands and missed a few chances earlier on in the second. So, it was a tough match for me to lose really... He was aggressive, he was maybe the more inspired player out there today. And that’s why he deserved to win.”

The 30-year-old Federer was bidding to win his sixth title in Halle. Having won the title between 2003-2006 and 2008, he finished runner-up to Lleyton Hewitt in the 2010 title match and has a 39-5 event record.

Federer opened his grass-court campaign fresh from reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros (l. to Djokovic). He was looking to win his fifth ATP World Tour title of the season, following victories at Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells and Madrid.

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