Haas Triumphs Over Federer In Halle Final
Former World No. 2 Tommy Haas won the Gerry Weber Open title for the second time on Sunday in Halle as he defeated good friend and five-time former champion Roger Federer 7-6(5), 6-4.
The German had lifted the trophy in 2009 with victory over Novak Djokovic and ended a nine-match losing streak against Federer to win his 13th ATP World Tour title. He has won eight ATP World Tour finals in a row, with his last defeat in a title match coming against Andre Agassi in Rome in 2002.
The 34-year-old Haas started the season ranked outside the Top 200 after undergoing hip surgery that kept him out for 14 months between late February 2010 and May 2011. He had returned to the Top 100 at No. 87 with the help of a semi-final showing in Munich (l. to Cilic) and a third-round effort at Roland Garros (l. to Gasquet), and is now projected to leap to around No. 51 after earning 250 South African Airways ATP Rankings points.
Coming into the final, Haas had not beaten Federer since the 2002 Australian Open fourth round. Haas recovered from 1-3 down in the first set, levelling in the sixth game before prevailing in the subsequent tie-break. He then broke Federer in the ninth game of the second set after chasing down a drop shot to hit a backhand winner and served out the match in one hour and 35 minutes.
The 30-year-old Federer was bidding to win his sixth title in Halle. Having won the title between 2003-2006 and 2008, he finished runner-up to Lleyton Hewitt in the 2010 title match and has a 39-5 event record.
Federer opened his grass-court campaign fresh from reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros (l. to Djokovic). He was looking to win his fifth ATP World Tour title of the season, following victories at Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells and Madrid.