2014/07/24

Haas Beats Countryman Kohlschreiber for Munich Title

Tommy Haas

(May 5, 2013) German tennis veteran Tommy Haas won his first Munich Open in his tenth attempt, ousting defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-6 (3).  The match was first all-German final in Munich in 48 years.

“It’s a sensational feeling to be quite honest,” Haas said of the win. “It was another one of those milestones that I hoped for, to maybe win this title one year. To have done that, this late in my career, is a big highlight for me. Every time you win a title, it’s a reflection of putting everything together the whole week. It doesn’t happen that often. You’re really proud of those moments.

“It’s the icing on the cake when you have family here that you don’t see too often. Having my fiancé, my daughter and my mother-in-law coming all the way here to support me, couldn’t have been much better.

“I knew it was going to be tough. He’s played well here before and was looking for his third crown and it was maybe my last opportunity to win the title here. So I gave myself a little bit of extra pressure. I served well and I played well when it counted. When I was serving for the match, he played aggressive, came up with some good shots, and was rewarded for it. Then I told myself to get into the tie-break and play it as well as you can. I didn’t want to play a third set against him, having served for the match, so I was really pleased with that.”

Despite not defending his title, Kohlschreiber said it was a good week.  “It’s very frustrating to lose in the final, of course, but Tommy played a very good match. It was a great week; it’s always special to play at home. I’m happy with my performance. I really look forward to the upcoming clay-court tournaments. I’m pretty confident playing on clay and hopefully I’ll have a good run.”

Haas is the first 35-year-old to win an ATP World Tour event, since Frenchman Fabrice Santoro won Newport in 2008. It’s his 14th career title, 4th on German soil.

Haas will see his ranking rise to No. 13 when the new rankings are released on Monday.

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Sampras, McEnroe, Lendl and Haas to Play in The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic

 

White Sulphur Springs, WV – April 23, 2013: The Greenbrier, the classic American resort in the foothills of West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, will once again be host this fall to The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic, featuring exhibition matches with Tennis Hall of Fame legends Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and, for the first time ever, Ivan Lendl and Tommy Haas.

 

From September 21-22, 2013, The Greenbrier will host this second annual tennis classic featuring four of the greatest living tennis stars in the world, who, all together, hold 29 career Grand Slam men’s singles titles.  Following the overwhelming success of last year’s inaugural Greenbrier Champions Tennis Class (which was a one-day event), the 2013 Classic will span two days and include three marquee matches between these four tennis legends, along with a Pro-Am.

 

Last September, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras restarted the tradition of high-profile tennis events hosted by The Greenbrier when they played before an enthusiastic crowd of guests at

Pete Sampras

The Greenbrier’s tennis center.  The 2013 Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic will have a new format, with last year’s competitors, McEnroe and Sampras, playing as teammates in a friendly challenge against former world #1 Ivan Lendl and Tommy Haas, who is currently ranked #14 in the world.  On Saturday, September 21, two singles matches will be played – McEnroe vs. Lendl and Sampras vs. Haas.  On Sunday, September 22, one doubles match will be played with the Americans (McEnroe and Sampras) competing against the Europeans (Lendl and Haas).

 

“We are so thrilled to continue to build the tradition of the fall Tennis Classic at The Greenbrier, and welcome Pete and John back to the resort,” says Jim Justice, owner of The Greenbrier.  “And we could not ask for better ambassadors for the resort and our extraordinary tennis facilities than four of the most talented players that have ever graced the court in international men’s tennis.”

 

“I am really looking forward to returning to The Greenbrier again this fall for some great tennis-and hopefully a little golf, too!” says Pete Sampras.  “John and I had such a great time last year,

Ivan Lendl

and I’m psyched to join forces with him this year to take on the

‘new challengers’ at the tournament.”

 

“It’s really great to see the Greenbrier continue to bring tennis to the forefront at this great American resort” says John McEnroe.  “The crowd at last year’s event seemed to really enjoy the tennis and was very supportive of both Pete and myself.  I am sure the new expanded tournament format, with the Americans vs. Europeans competition, will encourage even more fans to come out for a great weekend.”

Tommy Haas
Tommy Haas

For more information about The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic, please visit: http://greenbrier.com/tennisclassic.   For more about The Greenbrier resort, please visit: www.greenbrier.com.  And follow The Greenbrier resort on Twitter at @The_Greenbrier and get the latest developments on #GBRTennisClassic.

 

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Kourtin’ Karen’s Tennis Week in Review

Sony Open Tennis

(April 1, 2013) NEW YORK, NY –  Kourtin’ Karen takes brief look at the week that was week in the offbeat world of tennis.

 

15-0

Big media there or not,  a tournament does exist.

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

If a tournament takes place on the East Coast and many West Coast tennis media and some international tennis media don’t show up, did it really happen?

Answer – yes.  This was the case at the Sony Open this last fortnight.

Sure, I’ll admit probably not all of the tennis media that could have been in Miami were there to cover it due to various issues – March Madness, media budgets and the lack of the presence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Yes, the NCAA tournament. No way would mainstream media outlets take money out of their budgets or space our of their papers to cover tennis during March Madness. NCAA coverage sells more papers, gets TV ratings – tennis doesn’t.

Tennis is not what it once was in terms of most mainstream media covering tournaments each and every week. As you have probably heard, the newspaper industry is dying. Magazines are dying. so tennis fans have to depend on what I call “specialized” media to follow their favorite sport – such as Tennis Channel and more importantly the internet – from established media websites to independent websites blogs and twitter. We live in an internet world and two-day old news will not cut it for tennis fans.

So what’s the point, you ask? Whether all of the established tennis media powers are there or not,  one of the major non-majors did take place.

 

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Tennis dropped for NCAA

CBS pulled out of it’s coverage of the Sony Open Men’s final between David Ferrer and Andy Murray before the third set tiebreak to air the NCAA Regional final between Michigan and Florida on Sunday afternoon. Murray won the tiebreak 7-1.

“We stayed with tennis as long as we could,”  said a CBS spokeswoman.

 

 

Andy-Murray

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Back to No. 2

With his title in Miami, Andy Murray moved up tot he No. 2 ranking passing Roger Federer.

Murray Wins Title in Miami

 

Jelena Jankovic

Jelena Jankovic

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Jelena Jankovic upset with scheduling

Jelena Jankovic had a short turnaround before her quarterfinal match against Maria Sharapova. The Serb played a night match and had to play Sharapova at 1 p.m. the next day.  Jankovic was destroyed by the Russian, winning a mere three games.

“The girls who play tonight at 7, they had a day off yesterday,” Jankovic said. “So it was kind of crazy. I had a couple of hours of sleep, and then I had to be back on the court. I played four matches, only had one day off.  Last night, couple hours of sleep. So it wasn’t easy, but what can I do?

“I wish it was a little different. I wish I had a little more time to recover and be in better shape for today. It would give me a much better chance to play better, but it was the way it was. Like I said, Maria was playing very well. But like I said, the opponent plays as well as you let her. I didn’t do what I wanted to do and complicate things on the court.”

 

Serena Williams (c) Kevin Ware for Tennis Panorama News

Serena Williams (c) Kevin Ware for Tennis Panorama News

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Serena Williams captures record 6th Sony Open

Serena Williams Mounts Comeback for Record 6th Miami Title

 

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Deuce

Bellucci Beats Janowicz in Raucous Match in Miami

 

Tommy Haas

Advantage

Tommy Haas

The soon-to-be 35 year-old pulled off the upset of the Sony Open by dominating No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a windy night session match. He also took out seeded Gilles Simon on his way to the semifinals of Miami where he fell to David Ferrer in three sets.

Haas who achieved his highest ATP ranking in 2002 when he reached No. 2, breaks in to top 15 for the first time 2008.

 

Game, Set, Match and shot of the tournament!

Agnieszka Radwanka’s no-look backhand volley winner.

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Ferrer Beats Haas in Three Sets to Reach Miami Final

 

David Ferrer

David Ferrer

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.

Tommy Haas

Tommy Haas

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.”

Amy Fetherolf‏ is covering the Sony Open as media for Tennis Panorama News (@TennisNewsTPN). She is a co-founder of The Changeover. Follow her on Twitter at @AmyFetherolf.

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Sony Open Men’s Semis Predictions: Haas Through to the Finals with Murray

Tommy HaasAndy Murray

By Kevin Ware

(March 29, 2013) MIAMI – If you’d asked anyone two weeks ago if these four players would be the Miami semifinalists, the answer would have been resoundingly “No”. Yet here we are, preparing for a battle of veterans in one semifinal while Murray faces a resurgent Frenchman in the other.

The 34 year-old Haas has a chance to make history. Ferrer has a legitimate shot at a second Masters Series title in the absence of his usual rivals. Gasquet has a chance to win his biggest title to date. And Andy has a chance to get a toehold into the season before heading to the clay. Lots of storylines, but only two go through. Here are my thoughts on why it will be a Haas versus Murray final.

David FerrerHaas d Isner semifinal (1 of 5)

Tommy Haas versus David Ferrer

Head-to-Head: Ferrer leads 2-0

Ferrer leads their head-to-head, but I wouldn’t put much stock in that statistic given that their last meeting was in 2008 in Dubai.  They’re both very different players now, so I’ll focus on what both bring to the table for this particular semifinal match.

Ferrer has dropped one set in three matches (he received a walkover from Dmitry Tursunov). He’s playing solid tennis, but definitely not his best tennis. And he’s showing an edginess in his matches that isn’t particularly helpful to his cause. Tommy, on the other hand, is playing tremendous tennis. Both his forehand and backhand are causing damage. He’s serving well, moving brilliantly, and displaying a variety of shots that almost rivals the great Federer.

The keys to this match for Haas are his movement, his variety, and his forehand. If he moves well, uses his variety to keep Ferrer off-balance, and hits his forehand as strongly as he has in previous matches, Ferrer is in trouble. The key to the match for Ferrer is in his head.  He needs to keep himself from going on edgy walkabouts like he has in previous matches. When his mood turns sour, his game goes sour and he starts to miss. If that happens against Haas, the German will take full advantage.

I’m giving the nod to Haas in three.  He’s focused and sharp, yet also happy, relaxed, and enjoying every minute of his current run. He’s playing brilliantly and will continue to do so for a spot in the finals on Sunday.

Tommy Haas in three sets

 

Richard GasquetAndy Murray

Andy Murray versus Richard Gasquet

Head-to-Head: Andy leads 4-3

Andy leads their head-to-head, but once again this stat is misleading.  They’ve only played two hard court matches, and that hasn’t happened since 2007. So there really isn’t much to go on in terms of recent hard court history.

A visit to the ATP site for their 52-week FedEx Index stats gives a slightly better picture of what we can expect. Murray outperforms Gasquet slightly in terms of hard court matches won, tiebreaks won, and a better performance over Top Ten players (not counting Gasquet’s win Thursday over Tomas Berdych).

In terms of their play in Miami, it’s a toss-up. Murray hasn’t played the type of spectacular tennis that won him the US Open title, but has won with ease over most of his opponents.  Gasquet has played solid and “non-mental” tennis, but has had much tighter matches.  Is that enough to beat Andy?  Probably not.  His win over Berdych was as much a function of Berdych’s game breaking down as it was Gasquet’s play.

Murray’s match against Marin Cilic wasn’t his best, but it was good enough.  That’s what he does best, and without breaking down a la Berdych. If Gasquet plays Andy like he did Tomas, it will be a good match: but he will still lose in three.

Andy Murray in three sets.

Kevin Ware is in Miami covering the Sony Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.

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In His Own Words – Tommy Haas After Defeating Novak Djokovic at Sony Open

 

Tommy Haas

(March 26, 2013) With all of the 30-plus players active on the ATP World Tour, one has to wonder is 30 the new 20? A week away from his 35th birthday, an inspired Tommy Haas stunned a not-so-inspiring Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-4 to move into the quarterfinals of the Sony Open on Tuesday evening.

Haas is the oldest player in t0 years to beat the No. 1 player.

For  Haas this is his second win in 14 tries against a World No. 1. The last time he topped a World No. 1 was back in 1999 over Andre Agassi in the quarterfinals of the Grand Slam Cup.

Here is his post match news conference after the win:

T. HAAS/N. Djokovic

6-2, 6-4

An interview with:

TOMMY HAAS

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Congratulations.  Do you remember the last time you beat a No. ’1?
TOMMY HAAS:  Somebody just told me.  So, yeah, but I don’t know    who was it, though?

Q.  Agassi, ’99, in Germany.
TOMMY HAAS:  Oh, yeah?  Well, it’s been 13 years, something like that, right?

Q.  Talk about the feeling.  Did you believe all along that you could put him away?
TOMMY HAAS:  Well, you know, I mean, I had the mentality tonight going out there believing in it.  You’ve got to, you know.
Just from last week, you know, playing somebody like Del Potro who gives me quite a bit of trouble, you know, I sort of had a game plan.  I went out and nothing seemed to really work, you know, and I didn’t really have a game plan B.
I was just frustrated with the way I played and tried to totally, you know, focus and tried to, you know, approach this match totally different.
You know, last couple of times I played Novak was in Shanghai last year and Toronto, and Toronto we had a really good battle, which I was really happy about the way I played; he played just better in the end.
Tonight I had a good game plan, I thought.  Conditions, you know, maybe now looking back, favored me a little bit with the game that I played against him tonight.  You know, it was tough out there with the swirling wind.

You know, I’m just really happy and proud of that tonight against such a great player who has been dominating the sport the past couple of years.  I really took advantage of the opportunities I’ve gotten.  You know, I think I played extremely well.
He gave me a lot of looks, and I took advantage of it.

Q.  Is this the reason you still are playing, is for nights like this?
TOMMY HAAS:  You got it, yeah.

Q.  How do you feel with the support of the people on the stadium?
TOMMY HAAS:  It’s very nice.  I mean, any time you play such big events on the stadium, it’s always just a great pleasure to go out No. 1.
Like he just said, this is what you play for, or I play for.  These are the moments I appreciate the most, going on those big stadiums, big stages, playing against the best people in the world.
Playing against something like Novak and coming out on top at this time of my career, it’s unbelievable.  You know, it goes up as one of my, you know, most best wins of my career. You know, the fans I hope, enjoyed it.
Miami is also sort of late night loud crowd, and I think they really appreciate good tennis.

Q. It was pretty hot until the last couple of days here, and then these conditions were not really expected. Did you have to do any adjustment to your game plan based on temperature, the wind, and everything?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah. I mean, when I woke up this morning obviously felt that it was a little bit chilly out there, and I looked at the weather report and saw it was going to be really cold and windy tonight. I wasn’t happy about it.
This is unusual for Miami time, you know, to have a drop. I think it’s supposed to be even colder tomorrow. It’s not great for me, especially with    you know, my body likes the heat, you know, to stay warm. You know, it’s something that you have no control over, either.
You know, you adjust with the racquet tension and, you know, mentally prepare yourself for it. All you can do is just do the best out there and try to adjust.

Q. When was the last time you played at such a level and maintained it pretty much the entire match?
TOMMY HAAS: I don’t know. I have had some, you know, good results last year. Probably in Halle maybe where I won the tournament, you know.
You know, you go back to obviously where you maybe have won matches against top players like that, against Roger, maintained a really high level.
It’s tough obviously. It’s one of the biggest challenges out there. You know, even looking at Novak Djokovic’s results the last two years, two and a half years, it’s just crazy, you know. You look at Roger last eight, nine years, and Nadal, how tough they are and maintaining that level.
It’s something really special. Not everybody has that gift. So I’m happy to have done it somehow a little bit tonight.

Q. He won 11 straight points; got the break back. A lot of the people in the stadium, I’m sure, were thinking, Oh, man, this guy is almost 35. The wheels are falling off. What were you thinking? How did you pull it together?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I wasn’t happy, you know. I had 3 1, I think, and had a couple of break points, or one, I’m not sure. Didn’t convert it. Then I lost    I know I lost eight points in a row for him to go up 4 3. I just wasn’t happy with the way I gave those points away, really.
I didn’t think anything else of it. I just didn’t make the right shots, shot selection that needed to be happening. You know, I didn’t give him a chance to pass me or win those points. I just kind of gave it away.
I think with four unforced errors to break back, and then, yeah, I just tried to regroup in the changeover and tell myself, Try to hold here to go to 4 All and keep it tight. If you have a chance, play a little bit different than before.
That’s exactly what happened.

Q. A few years ago when you had to come off the tour because of all the injuries and the time you spent away, at that stage could have imagined almost 35 years of age you’d still be playing at this level and producing a win against world No. 1?
TOMMY HAAS: Not really. You know, there were times I wouldn’t have believed that, no way. But, you know, when I came back after my hip surgery it was a grueling, you know, I don’t know, 9 months, 12 months before I actually felt like I can sort of train again and get in better shape and sort of maybe feel like I can move and give myself a chance to at least try to go for some victories again that I would enjoy.
You know, somewhere in the middle of last year, sometime in April, May, my body sort of adjusted a lot, got better, and I could train. You know, if you can’t train and put in the hard yards in this sport anymore, you know, you’re not going to get far. You know, not at least to the point where maybe you have a chance against a top player.
From experience, you know, luckily I know that, and luckily I’m a guy that likes to work out and gets in the best shape that I can possibly can, my body allowing. You know, right now I feel pretty good, as good as I have in a long time, and, you know, just never give up.

Q. Asking about your fashion statement out there, a lot of these guys are every stitch matches, and you had a lot of different colors going on. Is that conscious or random?
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, I’m pretty pathetic I think when it comes to color matching. Sometimes I look at myself, you know, in the mirror before I go out and I’m like, Jesus, what was I thinking there? (Laughter.)
I guess if I maybe had a clothing contract it would be different. But, you know, n this case I just put on the clothes that I really like. It’s comfortable and it sort of feels good on me. I’m not the color matching type, and my wife has to take care of our daughter most of the time so she doesn’t have time to do that, either. It falls into my hands.

Q. Still the backward hat, though.
TOMMY HAAS: Sometimes, yeah. It’s just when I sweat. You go in and out of that stage. My hair is short enough to go without a cap, but it’s just routine. Sometimes I play without it.

Q. Could you talk about your next match? You play Simon.
TOMMY HAAS: Yeah, similar conditions, maybe a little bit cooler. He’s just such a good  counterpuncher, a guy that is back wall. He moves extremely well. He knows the geometry of the game really well. He’s sort of somewhere always in the mix.
You don’t even really talk about him that much or you don’t see him in the draw that much. He’s always there, always within the top 20, top 10 over the past couple of years. You know, extremely talented, and it really depends on what kind of a night I have, I think.
I can try to mixup my game again and try to be aggressive when I have to be. And I’m going to have to change it up and sort of try to find a way, a style the way I played tonight and be aggressive, come in more, and hopefully it will be a good night, good tennis.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

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Haas Beats Dolgopolov in Miami

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By Amy Fetherolf

(March 24, 2013) MIAMI — World No. 18 Tommy Haas beat World No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-3, 6-2, in just an hour and 17 minutes to advance to the fourth round in Miami.

Haas was broken to start the match, but he rattled off five straight games, breaking back and securing the break necessary to take the first set.

Haas broke Dolgopolov straight away in the second set, and never let go of the advantage. He saved three break points to hold serve in the sixth game of the set for a 4-2 lead. From that point on, Haas cruised through the rest of the match, securing a double break, and closing the match out with three aces (two of which were second serve aces).

Haas hit 13 aces, 21 winners, and 17 unforced errors to Dolgopolov’s four aces, 16 winners, and 24 unforced errors in the tennis match.

Photos from the match:

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Amy Fetherolf‏ is covering the Sony Open as media for Tennis Panorama News (@TennisNewsTPN). She is a co-founder of The Changeover. Follow her on Twitter at @AmyFetherolf.

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Tommy Haas Continues His Return to Form with Win over Nicolas Almagro

Tommy Haas

By Jennifer Knapp

(March 13, 2013) INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA – Tommy Haas, the ATP’s 2012 Comeback Player of the Year and nineteenth seed continued his strong return to form and secured his place in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open with a hard fought win over eleventh seed Nicolas Almagro.

The 34-year-old, making his 13th appearance in Indian Wells, took the first set 6-3 with solid serving and equally powerful returns. Almagro seemed a little out of sorts as the match got underway and it wasn’t long before he was berating himself and yelling in the direction of his camp.  Haas started off the secondset well but midway he lost his first serve, giving Almagro the opportunity to turn his luck around and even the match in a tie break 7-2. This time it was Haas’ turn to express his displeasure with his level of play.

 

The third and final set was perhaps the most dramatic of all as Almagro had the win on his racquet only to tighten up and lose control of his first serve, allowing Haas to break back and eventually forcing another tiebreak.  Despite the fact that the two players were pretty evenly matched, Haas was able to capitalize at the right moments and secure the match 7-6 for a 6-2, 6-7(2), 7-6(2)  third round victory.  He’ll play seventh seed Juan Martin del Potro in the fourth round. The two have played 3 times, most recently in Cincinnati last year and del Potro has won each of their matches.

Jennifer Knapp is covering the BNP Paribas Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow the updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.

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Djokovic, Sampras, Fish and the Bryan Brothers Among Those to Particpate in LA Tennis Challenge

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(March 4, 2013) LOS ANGELES – The inaugural LA Tennis Challenge took place on Monday night on the campus of UCLA at the recently renovated Pauley Pavilion. Participating in the event to raise money for charity were world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Former No. 1 and member of the tennis Hall of Fame Pete Sampras, Bob and Mike Bryan, James Blake, Tommy Haas and former player Justin Gimelstob.

Los Angeles’ ATP World Tour event, the Farmers Classic, their license was sold to Colombian investors who took it to their home country. Former UCLA Bruin Gimelstob wants to keep pro tennis alive in Los Angeles and organized the event.

Singles and doubles exhibition matches took place including Djokovic pairing with his idol Sampras.

Celebrities in attendance included actress Jodie Foster, actor Bruce Willis and actor/comedian and tennis fan Rainn Wilson.

Proceeds from the event are to benefit the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the Novak Djokovic Foundation, Call to Cure and the Southern California Tennis Association’s community tennis initiatives.

 

All photos by Maria Noble

 

 

 

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Hewitt, Blake and Haas Commit to Houston

houston

(February 28, 2013) HOUSTONFormer champions Lleyton Hewitt (2009) and Tommy Haas (2004) as well as former finalist James Blake (2008) are among the players added to the field for the 2013 US Men’s Clay Court Championship as the preliminary entry list was released this week. Twenty-three players, including six ranked within the Top 25 on the ATP World Tour, have committed to the 28-player field for the tournament at River Oaks Country Club April 8-14.

Hewitt, a two-time Grand Slam champion from Australia, and Germany’s Haas headline a list of international stars in the event that includes defending champion Juan Monaco from Argentina, France’s Gael Monfils and Spaniard’s Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco.

Blake, a former Top 5 player, is among a group of seven Americans that includes 2012 River Oaks runner-up John Isner, 2010 finalist Sam Querrey, Ryan Harrison, Tim Smyczek, Houston resident Michael Russell and wild card recipient Jack Sock.

“Getting the entry list always gives everyone around River Oaks a little energy boost because it means the tournament is now less than six weeks away,” said Tournament Director Van Barry. “With the players that has signed up for the 2013 tournament, I anticipate a lot of excitement for this tournament. It’s such a deep field, I think every day of the week will have plenty of stars and quality matches.”

Here are the first 22 entries for the 213 US Men’s Clay Court Championship, with their nationality and ranking as of Monday, Feb. 25:
Nicolas Almagro (Spain) 12
Martin Alund (Argentina) 91
Ricardas Berankis (Lithuania) 87
Carlos Berlocq (Argentina) 75
James Blake (USA) 99
Flavio Cipolla (Italy) 100
Somdev Devvarman (India) 85*
Tommy Haas (Germany) 19
Ryan Harrison (USA) 76
Lleyton Hewitt (Australia) 98
John Isner (USA) 15
Jesse Levine (Canada) 95
Paolo Lorenzi (Italy) 57
Leonardo Mayer (Argentina) 77
Juan Monaco (Argentina) 14
Guido Pella (Argentina) 88
Sam Querrey (USA) 23
Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (Spain) 96
Michael Russell (USA) 72
Tim Smyczek (USA) 101
Jack Sock (USA) 130
Fernando Verdasco (Spain) 24
*Protected Ranking

One more player will join the field as wild cards while four more players will advance into the main draw through the qualifying tournament that will be held begin April 6 at River Oaks.

In addition to these singles players, four-time doubles champion the Bryan Brothers will return to River Oaks. The twin brothers Bob and Mike are the World No. 1 doubles team. They own the record for Grand Slam titles with 13 together as well as total career titles together with 85.

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