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Federer, Haas Reach Hamburg Third Round

Hamburg, Germany

Haas© Hamburg sports & entertainmentTommy Haas is making his 11th appearance in Hamburg.

Roger Federer overcame a slow start and a spirited performance from Daniel Brands, who celebrated his 26th birthday Wednesday, at the bet-at-home Open - German Tennis Championships.

In his first match at Hamburg since 2008, four-time former champion Federer triumphed 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in 86 minutes for his 30th match win at the ATP World Tour 500 clay-court tournament.

“I think it was good for me to have a tough match like this and come through at the end,” said Federer. “Clearly these kind of matches are always important, especially losing the first set makes things difficult. You’re not allowed to make many more unforced errors in crucial moments and I was able to come through and play better as the match went on. That’s always encouraging for the next round.”

Federer, who is tied with John McEnroe at No. 3 in the Open Era title-leaders list with 77 trophies, will next face qualifier Jan Hajek, who was a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victor over No. 15 seed Ernests Gulbis

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Tommy Haas, who first competed at Hamburg in 1997, will play in-form Carlos Berlocq in the third round. Second seed Haas was made to work hard for a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory over qualifier Blaz Kavcic. Haas led 3-1 in the deciding set, before qualifier Blaz Kavcic staged a comeback only to be broken in the 10th game.

“I think my opponent was a bit nervous, playing in front of a packed house here, but in the second set he got an early break and started serving much better and started playing much better tennis,” said Haas. “It was a tough, fought-out match in the end, so I got lucky a little bit in the end to have won.”

The German finished runner-up to Juan Monaco last year and spoke of the possibility of facing Federer in the final. “It would be nice, getting to another final here, but it’s a long way to go and a lot of good players around. I just got to look at it match by match. I’m happy to be here to play another round and we’ll see what happens.”

Last week’s SkiStar Swedish Open champion, Berlocq, continued his run of form by beating No. 16 seed Martin Klizan 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(5) in two hours and 31 minutes.

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