INTERNAZIONALI BNL D'ITALIA
Haas Upsets Wawrinka To Reach QFs
by ATP Staff|
World No. 19 Tommy Haas recorded his first Top 10 win in over a year on Thursday as he upset third seed Stan Wawrinka 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
The German benefitted from 40 unforced errors off Wawrinka's racquet and successfully employed an aggressive strategy, breaking the Australian Open champion decisively in the eighth game of the final set before closing out victory in two hours.
Talking about his tactics, the 36-year-old Haas explained to Sky Sports, “You have to be focused and line up the ball really well. You have to be mentally ready before you come in, then when you hit the shot you have to have the right footwork and know which side to cover. These guys are so fast these days and they have so much power. They can pass you from anywhere.
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“So it's very hectic, trying to play this type of game, but it's important, especially for me. I don't want to be the guy playing every other rally 20 shots back and forth. I don't have the stamina for that too much anymore. I have to mix it up and I'm really happy that I did that. That was the game plan. It doesn't always happen as well as it did today, so I'm really excited about that.”
The Hamburg native reached the final of this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament back in 2002 (l. to Agassi). He will look to reach his first Masters 1000 semi-final since Miami last year when he faces 12th seed Grigor Dimitrov on Friday.
World No. 10 Milos Raonic earned his first win in three attempts against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as he edged the Frenchman 7-6(5), 6-4. The Canadian served seven aces and saved all five break points he faced as he clinched victory in one hour and 48 minutes.
"[The goal] when you start any event is to make progress and give yourself as much opportunity as you can to win," said Raonic. "Right now, my main focus is what I need to do to get through to the semi-finals. For me, at my stage in my career, I feel like I'm constantly getting better, so that's a positive note."
The 23-year-old Raonic claimed his 14th victory of the season as he reached his third clay-court quarter-final of the campaign. Next up, Raonic will challenge Roger Federer’s conqueror, Jeremy Chardy, who backed up the biggest win of his career with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Ivan Dodig. The Frenchman is through to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final since 2012 Cincinnati (l. to del Potro).