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.”
Thunderstorms interrupted play for a third day in a row, with an almost five-hour delay on Wednesday afternoon and evening. How did Andy Roddick pass the time? "I looked out the window and watched the rain fall in the pool," Roddick joked. Roddick was surprised his match against Nicolas Mahut on Stadium Court was bumped up ahead of Michael Russell versus Kevin Anderson, who had already played two games before the rain delay, but he was happy he was able to finish the match on its scheduled day.
Rain Delay Entertainment
There were a few very vocal fans in the crowd Wednesday night who would sometimes shout right before the players served. Some of the fans might have taken advantage of the Corona tent on the grounds and the surrounding bars during the long delay. "I think you could tell what the rain delay activity was. People might have been indulging a little bit," Roddick said.
Michael Russell, at 34-years-old, is the oldest person in the draw, but he does not play like one. He is still ranked in the Top 100, at No. 94. With his 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) win Tuesday, he remains unbeaten against fellow American Alex Kuznetsov with now two wins on the ATP World Tour and eight wins at the challenger level. Russell struggled to find his form and his frustration showed in the first set after the more-than-two-hour rain delay. Kuznetsov was up an early break in the second set, but Russell used his great speed and consistency at the baseline to break back in the second set and then win the match in a third-set tiebreak.
Ryan Harrison said he was not devastated by the 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 loss to James Blake. "He's a great guy and he's done a lot for American tennis. I'm glad he got the win. Just disappointed it was against me." We asked Harrison how the match turned around in the second set after he won the first set easily. "[Blake] started to get a better rhythm in the second set. I did a good job of mixing it up and keeping him off balance in the first set. In the second set, I started to get a little too predictable and when he started playing a lot bigger I got defensive. At that point I was just reacting to what he was doing and he was controlling the baseline rallies and that's the reason why I lost," Harrison said.