Haas Survives as 3 Seeds Injured at St. Petersburg

Posted on October 26, 2006

Tommy Haas, still in contention for a spot at the year-end Masters Cup, narrowly avoided the chokes and pitfalls of other Shanghai contenders this week, Wednesday in St. Petersburg narrowly defeating Serb qualifier Nenad Zimonjic 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-2 to advance into second-round play in Russia.

"You never know what to expect from a player like Zimonjic, who is mostly known as a doubles player, especially playing him indoors so I was quite happy with my game today," Haas told reporters. "I've made a few easy unforced errors at the end of the second set but fortunately I was able to find my rhythm again in the third set to close out the match."

Haas was the lone seeded winner on the day as four fell, three succumbing to injury.

Top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko retired up a set against South African Weslie Moodie with an ankle injury; No. 5 seed Jarkko Nieminen retired down a set against Italian Potito Starace with a foot infection; and No. 7 Mikhail Youzhny gave Swede Thomas Johansson a walkover with a twisted ankle.

"It's a pity I had to quit the event this way," Nieminen told reporters. "The pain was growing and I could not keep on playing."

Unseeded winners Wednesday were Max "The Beast" Mirnyi (d. (6) Tursunov in three), Dutchman "Everybody Loves" Raemon Sluiter (d. (Q) Kubot in three), and Latvian wildcard Ernest Gulbis (d. Dlouhy from a set down).

Davydenko is expected to be able to compete next week in Paris.

In doubles unseeded Mario "Baby Goran" Ancic/Mahesh Bhupathi ousted No. 3 seeds Jonas Bjorkman/Thomas Johansson in a match tiebreak.

Scheduled for Thursday are Sluiter vs. (3) Baby Goran, Hernych vs. (Q) Arthurs, (4) Haas vs. (WC) Kunitsyn, The Beast vs. Pavel, and in doubles Ancic/Bhupathi vs. former Wimbledon champs Huss/Moodie.