Citi Open (2)

Sunday, 05 August 2012 14:01

Citi Open Saturday Rundown

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Saturday’s Downshifting
While in London Roger Federer and Andy Murray were preparing for their Gold Medal match, two players that have “been there, done that,” Tommy Haas, who lost the gold to Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 2000 in Sydney, and Mardy Fish, defeated by Chile’s Nicolas Massu in 2004 in Athens, were playing Olympics-quality tennis in their Citi Open Semifinal. Haas said he never expected still to play at 34, but he was inspired by Andre Agassi to stay in the game.

Haas, who will be back in the Top 30 by reaching the final, showed near-flawless form, beating the American 6-3, 7-5. Haas needed only one break point to take the set but only let Fish win two points on his serve and delivered no unforced errors. The second set was more closely contested, with Fish earning a set point at 5-4, but losing a long rally with an impatient attempt to change pace. What looked like a badly placed and timed drop-shot was “actually a failed attempt at a slice,” Fish said, lamenting the lost point and set. Haas went on to hold serve and break Fish in the top seed’s next game.

Even the crowds got into the Olympic spirit, shouting “USA” at some points. Mardy is the “true American,” said Haas, who has dual German and U.S. citizenship, unsurprised Fish had the upper hand in getting crowd support.
Saturday, 04 August 2012 13:19

Citi Open Friday Rundown

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Friday’s Amuse Bouche
Tommy Haas, healthy and in form at 34, delivered a 6-1, 6-2 defeat to countryman Tobias Kamke in the first of Friday’s matches at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. Both players struggled with serve in the heat and sun, with only 44 percent of Haas’ first serves landing in. However, Haas never faced a break point and was not in danger at any point of the match. The 34-year-old said he believes the tough conditions hurt his countryman, who has “a whole lot of firepower” more. “He threw me a lot of unforced errors,” Haas said.

Friday’s Oldies but Goodies
Haas next meets American Mardy Fish, against whom he has a losing record of 1-3 (with the sole win coming in a retirement). But Haas has never faced the “new Mardy,” having last played him in 2007.

Fish, who says he and the German are good friends and practice a lot together when not on Tour, believes Haas is “almost” at the level of play that took him to No. 2 in the world in the last decade. “This is why we play,” added Fish, “Two good players. Winner goes to the Final; loser goes to Toronto.”