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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Haas puts heat on Cilic to finish job

Photo Titled Haas ground stroke
Tommy Haas in action on No.1 Court against Marin Cilic, the match went the distance but bad light halted play towards the end of the fifth set.

Germany’s Tommy Haas needed just six games in the Saturday sunshine to secure victory over Croat Marin Cilic in a topsy-turvy match, which had been left on a knife-edge when it was suspended in the twilight on Friday night. Haas eventually emerged the victor 7-5, 7-5, 1-6, 6-7 (3-7) 10-8 in a total match time of four hours and 28 minutes.

Both players looked very nervous as they stepped on No.1 Court with the score locked at 6-6 in the fifth set (Click here to read the full match report). However it was experienced Haas - who, at 31, is 11 years older than his opponent - who made the vital breakthrough in the 17th game of an epic set.

After four games went with just a few points lost on serve, Haas forced a 15-40 advantage when the Croat could only clip a Haas backhand which whizzed down the line. He duly snapped up the game on his first opportunity when a Cilic forehand sailed long following a powerful Haas return.

Haas then staved off two immediate break-back opportunities before holding his nerve to clinch the set 10-8 when Cilic forced a backhand long.

Haas said afterwards: "It was a long match, a tough battle yesterday with so many ups and downs. Mentally it drains you for sure. You're always thinking about the next round in your head but you just want to finish the job.

"I was very nervous. I don't know if my experience helped pull me through in the end as in all my years i've never had a match suspended at 6-6 in the fifth set. It was dramatic."

Cilic echoed Haas' comments: "I was feeling well before the match. But when I stepped inside, when we started to play points, I was a little bit nervous. I think he dealt with it a little bit better and got an edge in the end. "

Court 1 - Gentlemen's Singles - 3rd Round
Tommy Haas GER (24)Winner7716310
Marin Cilic CRO (11)556778

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