Dolgopolov Overcomes Haas & Rain To Capture Washington Title
Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov handed 34-year-old Tommy Haas his first loss in nine finals contested on U.S. soil, rallying past the German 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-1 on Sunday at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C.
With victory at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament, the third event of the summer hard-court swing, Dolgopolov moves into a second-place tie with Atlanta champion Andy Roddick in the US Open Series Bonus Challenge Standings. Querrey, last week's Los Angeles champion and a semi-finalist in Washington, stands atop the leader board with 95 points.
"For sure, Iím very happy, and especially winning a match like that [which is] really tight, goes up and down, the rain breaks," said Dolgopolov. "Iím really happy with myself that I stayed concentrated and was in the match in all the three sets."
The fourth-seeded Haas was broken for just the second time this week with No. 2 seed Dolgopolov taking a 4-3 lead in the first set, but immediately got back on serve. Players briefly left the court due to a light shower after the ninth game, and returned to play two more games before heavy rainfall halted the match.
The final, which had begun at 4 p.m. local-time, resumed around 7:45 p.m. and Haas took the first set tie-break after capitalising on his fourth set point opportunity. He faced down four break points on serve in the second set, before Dolgopolov broke to draw level at one set apiece. The Ukrainian limited Haas to just one game in the decisive set, closing out the victory after two hours and 15 minutes.
"He was giving away more free points than he did in the first set and throughout the tournament when I watched him play," Dolgopolov said. "I think it was a part of him, a part of it being the final, a part of my game. Everything helped it to go wrong for him. He helped me a little bit in the last game of the second set. In the third set he was a bit frustrated, so it was really good I got an advantage at the start of the set."
Dolgopolov, 23, claimed his second ATP World Tour title (2-2 in finals), following last year's triumph in Umag. He is projected to move from No. 25 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings up to No. 16/17 with his first ATP World Tour 500 title.
Haas, who dropped to a 13-11 mark in title matches, was appearing in his third final in his past five tournaments. He won the grass-court title in Halle with victory over Roger Federer and finished runner-up to Juan Monaco on clay in Hamburg.
He is the fourth player this season to appear in finals on all three surfaces, joining Federer, David Ferrer and John Isner.
"Not only here, but Iíve proven [myself] a couple months ago winning a title in Halle and getting to a final in Hamburg two weeks ago and getting to a final here," said Haas. "Itís been unbelievable.
"Obviously Iím a little bit frustrated right now still. I thought I had some chances to win this title and I really wanted it. Itís always tough to lose, even when you had a great week, but you just have to let it sink in and overall, Iím really proud to get here to a final and play really solid tennis. I just hope I can stay injury-free and keep going and try to keep it moving."