x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Haas shines on home grass

Tommy Haas lifts his first ATP Tour title on grass with a three-set victory over second seed Novak Djokovic at the Gerry Weber Open.

Tommy Haas lifted his first ATP Tour title on grass with a three-set victory over second seed Novak Djokovic at the Gerry Weber Open. Haas, 31, became the first German winner in Halle since David Prinosil in 2000 with a 6-3 6-7 (4/7) 6-1 triumph over his Serbian opponent. Following on from his strong showing at the French Open, where he lost to eventual winner Roger Federer in the quarter-finals, Haas looked confident from start to finish against the world No 4. On his 10th visit to Halle, and in his first final, Haas rarely looked troubled on his serve, dropping only a handful of points on his way to the first set. Djokovic, on the other hand, did not look at all comfortable and Haas struck midway through the set with three excellent points to force the first break of the match and take a 5-3 lead.

Two cross-court volleys and a long shot down the line earned the German wild card his first two break points of the match, and he took the second after an ace had saved the Serbian the first time around. Haas then earned his first set point with a fine block at the net and he was handed the opening set when an attempted drop shot from Djokovic clipped the net. The second set went with serve, but again it was Djokovic who struggled the most. He did defend two break points with a stunning backspin drop just over the net from the baseline saving the first, before a sliced service return from Haas obliged the second. Djokovic was slowly looking stronger on his serve, while cracks emerged in Haas' game when he threw away the tie-break with three double faults.

Nevertheless, Haas regained his composure to race to victory in the third set, breaking twice before serving out to love for the match. *PA Sport