German days over: Haas & Mayer out in hamburg

german days over: haas & mayer out in hamburg

One week after his defeat in stuttgart, the hamburger was again beaten by the italian fabio fognini in the hanseatic city, 2:6, 4:6. Instead of the 35-year-old last year’s finalist, his new fearsome opponent will now face nicolas almagro of spain, who beat defending champion juan monaco (argentina) 4:6, 6:0, 6:3, in the preliminary round on saturday. All 7,500 tickets have already been sold, but many fans had hoped for another haas holiday.

Haas is not sure how many more of these there will be. "Playing in front of such a great audience makes hollenspab. Who knows how many more times i’ll have this and if i’ll be back here next year," haas said after the defeat. And added: "I hope so, of course, but a year is a long time."

Florian mayer from bayreuth also reached the quarter finals. The 29-year-old lost to number 1 seed roger federer 6:7 (4:7), 6:3, 5:7, but played to eye level with the superstar. "If at some point you become afraid of the rough name and the winning, you just lose. I played a good match, but now I’m frustrated," said mayer. Federer had respect for the german’s performance: "we were equally strong today. But there is no draw in tennis."

On saturday federer will meet argentinian qualifier federico delbonis in the semifinals. He regrets that the dream of a final against tommy haas is over. "But tommy has been on the road for a long time. He needs a break too, poor guy," he added with a wink.

26 hours after his convincing performance over carlos berlocq (argentina), haas was on the losing end from the start in the renewed encounter with the stuttgart winner. In spite of all the cheers from the crowd, he gave up his second service game in the windy conditions. At 2:4, the german, who was dissatisfied with his game, began to curse in his typical manner – and promptly conceded the next break after a double fault. After 33 minutes the first sentence was then gone. Almost symptomatic: haas was unable to take advantage of four break points in this important phase, while fognini immediately converted his first set point to make it 6:2.

Haas reared back in the second set, but the nine-year-younger italian often had the better answer in summer temperatures. Once again, the world no. 25 took. The american, who was ranked 14 positions higher in the ATP list, lost his second service game. While haas had to deal with himself too often, produced plenty of mistakes and even mumbled a hit, fognini mostly pulled his game through consistently.

With his first break after exactly one hour, haas was back in the match at 3:3. Suddenly he hit the ball better and put fognini in danger for the first time. But he hit back ice-cold. He managed to break again to 5:4 and then he managed to break his serve safely. "I made slight mistakes and thus built up his freshly refueled self-confidence even more," said haas self-critically. At the same time, he praised his strong opponent: "you have to respect him, he’s playing good tennis at the moment."

"If I ever have a chance against federer, it will be here on sand," mayer had said the day before. The crisis of form of the number 5 of the world gave him hope to get his first victory in the fifth meeting. And indeed, the player from bavaria delivered a strong performance, repeatedly putting the superstar in danger with his offensive style. Even after losing the first set, the 29-year-old did not let it get to him and came back with three breaks in the second set. Federer’s flight errors benefited him in the process. But the superstar prevailed in the third set.

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