x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Haas looking for Federer revenge

The German is next up for the five-time champion and Djokovic's conqueror aims to block Federer's bid for the grand slam record.

Tommy Haas raises his arms in delight after beating No 4 seed Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals at SW19.
Tommy Haas raises his arms in delight after beating No 4 seed Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals at SW19.

LONDON // A revitalised German will be the next player to stand in the way of Roger Federer's quest for a record 15th grand slam title. Tommy Haas, the 24th seed, shocked the fourth seed Novak Djokovic with a superb display as he won 7-5, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 yesterday to set up a Centre Court clash with Federer tomorrow for a place in Sunday's final.

Haas, 31, missed out on a great chance to beat Federer at the French Open last month, leading by two sets in their fourth-round clash before the world No 2 hit back to triumph on his way to his maiden title in Paris. That still rankles with the German. "I just let go for a second that day," said a still rueful Haas, who has now recovered fully from a serious shoulder injury. "When you do that against him he's just going to jump on top of you like no other player. You can't allow yourself to do that."

The German proved too good for Djokovic as he battled through in four sets to reach the semi-finals for the first time at Wimbledon. But he will face a tall order if he is to stop Federer reaching his seventh successive final at SW19 after the Swiss ace looked in unstoppable form as he ruthlessly beat the big Croatian Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 in their last eight encounter. Federer, who produced some mesmerising returns and stood rock solid on his own delivery, confessed to having thoughts about the significance of the coming weekend after his victory.

"We all know it would be rewriting the history books of tennis," he said. "But it's not there yet. It's still far away - many points, many serves, many forehands. We'll see." Federer, who rebuffed suggestions that Karlovic is a boring player with nothing to offer but a massive serve, knew that the key to avoiding a long-drawn out affair of multiple tie-breaks was to concentrate on taking what few chances that were going to come his way on the Karlovic serve.

"I'm definitely good when it really matters," he said, proud of his ability to play the big points like routine ones as he did when seizing the two break-point opportunities that came his way. Britain's Andy Murray, the No 3 seed, became the third of the four semi-finalists when overcoming the experienced Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero in straight sets 7-5, 6-3, 6-2.

wjohnson@thenational.ae