PBZ ZAGREB INDOORS 2014
Haas Records 550th Win, Faces Cilic In Zagreb Final
by ATP Staff|
The 35-year-old Haas, the oldest player in the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, faces three-time champion Marin Cilic in the final on Sunday. Haas leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-1.
"[Cilic] has a big game and I will try to play my game and change it up on the court," said Haas. "It's going to come down to winning the big points."
In his 550 wins, the former World No. 2 has earned 15 titles and finished as runner-up on 13 other occasions. This week also marks the 13th time Haas is the top seed at an ATP World Tour tournament. Prior to Zagreb, the German’s best results as the No. 1 seed were reaching the semi-finals in Long Island (2002) and Los Angeles (2009).
Evans, who replaced Radek Stepanek in the main draw, was contesting his first ATP World Tour semi-final. He will rise to around World No. 124 on Monday. "I like his game a lot," said Haas about Evans. "I think he has a very nice finesse game. He has a good game to be very dangerous."
Fifth seed Cilic, the 2009 (d. Ancic), 2010 (d. Berrer) and 2013 (d. Melzer) champion, proved to be too strong for qualifier Bjorn Phau in their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, recording a 6-3, 6-4 victory over 85 minutes.
"I'm happy that I'm back in the final again," said Cilic. "I have nice memories from [playing] last year. Now that I've reached the final I feel less pressure and I can play much looser. This tournament is really important to me. I hope I can win the title tomorrow."
Phau, who is currently No. 358 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, was appearing in his first ATP World Tour semi-final since April 2009 at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. US Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston.
A Croatian has reached the final at the ATP World Tour 250 indoor tournament in eight of the past nine years. Cilic, 25, will be attempting to lift his 10th ATP World Tour title on Sunday.
Fourth Seeds Upset
The unseeded team of Philipp Marx and Michal Mertinak took out No. 4 seeds Marin Dragania and Mate Pavic 6-3, 6-4 in 55 minutes to advance to the PBZ Zagreb Indoors final, where they will face second seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau. Both teams are playing in a final for the first time in their respective partnerships.