SAP OPEN 2013
Haas To Battle Raonic In Final
San Jose, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
Haas won 80 per cent of his service points and broke Isner twice in their 61-minute encounter. He saved the only break point he faced and fired eight aces, one less than the World No. 16.
"I saw his serve extremely well today, and that obviously helps when you’re playing someone like him," said the German, who was pleased with his performance. "This is the type of surface where if you can hold serve and put some pressure on the opponent, it really works out well."
Isner admitted his serve and groundstrokes let him down. "I just couldn’t find my first serve when I really needed it," said the American. "He played well, there’s definitely no shame in losing to him," Isner said of Haas, adding that his opponent was at the top of his game.
The 22nd-ranked Haas improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head against Isner to 2-3 by posting his first win over the American since 2008.
He said such victories are the ones that keep him motivated. "You’re on such a high when you win these matches," Haas said. "Holding up a trophy somewhere you haven’t done it before; that’s really what drives me.
"It’s a tough sport, but these moments really make me just appreciate the hard work you put into it. As long as I’m healthy and can play at this level, and still enjoying these tournaments, it’s a blessing to be around and still playing tennis at this level," he added.
The German has a 13-11 win-loss record in finals, and at 34, was the oldest title winner last year with victory at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle (d. Federer). If he triumphs on Sunday, he'll be the first German to win the Bay Area title in the tournament’s 125-year history and oldest victor since a 36-year-old Roy Emerson hoisted the trophy in 1973.
"Making the finals of another ATP [World Tour] event really makes me proud," said Haas. "I’m happy to have that chance, and hopefully I can play a very good match again tomorrow.”
Haas faces two-time defending champion Milos Raonic the final after the Canadian cruised past third seed Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-2 in 61 minutes. Raonic served 12 aces and never faced a break point en route to his first victory over the American in three attempts.
“I’ve been sort of going up and down through matches regarding my return, but today the key was I started off with a lot of intensity and carried through,” said the top seed, who won 41 per cent of return points compared to Querrey’s 12 per cent.
“I’m returning well, moving well, getting into position to hit the shots and when I have the opportunities, I’m going for it and I’m pretty successful,” added Raonic who said his confidence was growing as a result of his solid performances this week.
The 22 year-old Raonic said he is pleased with the way he can dictate and control a match. "At the end of the day, I have to focus on myself and I feel like I can impose my game on others more so that they can on me. It’s more about trying to make my opponent adjust to me, rather than me adjusting to him."
The Canadian right-hander has never faced Haas, and neither player has dropped a service game this week. If he triumphs on Sunday, Raonic will become the first player in the Open Era to win the title Bay Area titles three years in a row.
But he knows the German, who stands between him and a fourth ATP World Tour title, will be a tough opponent. "He’s very resilient. He does everything well. He can pretty much do anything," mused Raonic, who has a 3-3 record in finals.