ERSTE BANK OPEN 2013
Haas Reaches Vienna Final; Tsonga Suffers Defeat
by ATP Staff|
Tommy Haas added 60 points to his Emirates ATP Race To London total on Saturday after reaching the final of the Erste Bank Open with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(0) victory over Lukas Rosol. The German has an outside chance of earning one of the four remaining spots at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and is looking to close the gap on the 11th-placed Milos Raonic, who lost yesterday in the If Stockholm Open quarter-finals.
"There's still a chance, but obviously I will have to play extremely well next week and also in Paris, maybe even win Paris,” said Haas. “I'll give it my best try. Nothing's impossible. I'd just like to play some good tennis for the remainder of the season."
The 35-year-old Haas is making his 11th appearance in Vienna, 16 years after making his debut in 1997. The German won the title in 2001 with victory over Guillermo Canas and reached the final in 2000 (l. to Henman).
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"It's a pretty cool feeling,” said Haas. “A long time ago I was watching this tournament on TV. I played here for the first time back in 1997, played the final here for the first time in 2000 and won it in 2001. Being back in the final in 2013 is obviously a great feeling.
"I knew he was going to be a tough opponent today. Rosol is the kind of player, when he gets some confidence, he's very tough, as he's shown over the years. It came down to a few points here and there. It couldn't have been any closer. I played a really good tie-break and he gave me a few unforced errors.”
Haas is chasing his second ATP World Tour title of the season, following victory on clay at the BMW Open in Munich in April (d. Kohlschreiber). The right-hander, also runner-up at the SAP Open in San Jose (l. to Raonic), has a 46-19 match record on the season and is looking to reach the 50 match wins milestone for the first time since 2001 (57-21).
Haas will contest his 27th ATP World Tour final against Robin Haase, in what will be their first meeting.
The Dutchman toppled top seed and 2011 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 7-6(4) in 93 minutes, saving five of seven break points faced. A semi-finalist last week, at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, Tsonga's hopes of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals took a blow with the loss.
Currently sitting in the eighth and final spot in the Emirates ATP Race to London, the Frenchman would have leapt by Swiss contenders Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka with a run to the Vienna title. Tsonga now finds himself potentially on the outside looking in after countryman Richard Gasquet pulled to within a mere 35 points with a run to the Kremlin Cup final. Gasquet will pass Tsonga with a win over Mikhail Kukushkin in Sunday's final.
Haase, meanwhile, will seek his third title on Austrian soil in as many years, having lifted the trophy on the clay of Kitzbuhel in 2011 and 2012.
"It's going to be our first official meeting," Haase said of the final against Haas. "It's going to be an interesting match. I have to play my best game to beat him. He's a tough guy to play and he's a great competitor."
Knowle/Nestor Roll To Vienna Final
Austrian Julian Knowle advanced to the final alongside former doubles World No. 1 Daniel Nestor, dispatching the Czech-Croatian tandem of Jaroslav Levinsky and Mate Pavic 6-3, 6-2. A Vienna resident, Knowle is seeking his first hometown title after finishing runner-up in 2006, 2009 and 2012. Nestor, meanwhile, won the Vienna crown in 2005 and 2010, with Mark Knowles and Nenad Zimonjic respectively.
The Austrian-Canadian combo will square off with Florin Mergea and Lukas Rosol in the final. Mergea and Rosol find themselves in their first doubles final on the ATP World Tour. Rosol won his lone doubles crown last year in Doha, with Filip Polasek.