By Amy Fetherolf
(March 29, 2013) MIAMI — World No. 4 David Ferrer fought back from a set down to beat World No. 18 Tommy Haas, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, advancing to the Sony Open final.
Haas came out picking up where he left off in beating both Novak Djokovic and Gilles Simon in straight sets earlier this week. He was damaging Ferrer most on the forehand side, passing him for winners and leaving Ferrer flat-footed as he earned two breaks of serve. He would need both of them to close out the set, but Ferrer was racking up too many errors to make it competitive.
In the second set, the tide changed direction. It was Ferrer who broke twice as Haas’ footwork lost its luster. The 34-year-old Haas appeared to be rapidly running out of steam.
After his second shirt change, Haas, now decked in purple, started the third set strongly, breaking Ferrer early. However, he got immediately broken back, and though he broke again, he simply couldn’t hold onto his serve. Ferrer cut down on the errors in his game to close out the match with ease.
“I knew after the second set I got broken for the first time, he started playing more solid,” Haas said. “I got a lot of deep balls. You know, he made life pretty tough on me. After the second set, I just tried to forget about it and really regroup in the third and told myself, Come on. All you have to do is play one great final set to maybe achieve another big goal of mine. Even at 3‑all I still felt, okay, no worries. Have to keep it up. I started missing a little bit and came up a little too often. He didn’t miss at all anymore. That’s the difference. That’s why he is where he is and that’s why he deserved to win.”
For his part, Ferrer said he could tell the tide had turned in his direction after the second set, even with his slow start on serve.
“I know Tommy, in the third set, he was a little bit more tired than me. I know that. But when I start the third set, I served very bad, no? But anyway, I tried to forget and to play, focus every point.”
Haas said that he was still happy with what he’d achieved at the tournament. He will move up four spots to No. 14 in the ATP rankings with his strong results in Miami.
“Beating Novak Djokovic, coming back, beating Simon, getting to the semis. It’s been an unbelievable tournament, something that, you know, I will definitely cherish for the rest of my life. I’ll continue and I will try to get better and take this momentum to the next weeks and months, try to stay healthy. This is what it’s all about for me, you know, going out in front of a packed house like that, playing the best players, and still feeling like I have a chance and playing good matches. That makes me happy, and I will try to continue as long as I can, because this is a lot of fun.”