Tommy Haas’ career has always been more defined by his injuries than his play. On Sunday at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, the former world No. 2 turned back the clock to defeat five-time former champ Roger Federer 7-6(5), 6-4.
The German has amazingly not lost in a final since 2002 in Rome to Andre Agassi, winning eight since then for a career total of 13.
“My 13th title was a goal of mine to maybe achieve in the next coming months, years or however long I am going to play,” Haas said. “To have somebody across the net like Roger is a real honor for me. To have that picture with the winning trophy and Roger next to me is something really special, something I’ll obviously never forget.”
The 34-year-old Haas was off the tour for 14 months with hip surgery in 2010-11.
Federer led 3-1 in the first set, but was denied a sixth Halle title by the inspired German.
“I should never have lost the first set,” Federer said. “So, obviously that hurt. He got momentum after that. He started to serve a bit better. I missed a few more forehands and missed a few chances earlier on in the second. So, it was a tough match for me to lose really. He was aggressive, he was maybe the more inspired player out there today. And that’s why he deserved to win.”
Nalbandian Implodes, Defaulted in ATP Queen’s Club Final
The score read 7-6(3), 3-4 in favor of David Nalbandian, but Croat Marin Cilic was named the winner of the 2012 AEGON Championships when a Nalbandian outburst resulted in a bleeding linesperson, and Nalbandian defaulted from the match.
After being broken serving at 3-3, Nalbandian kicked the front of a sponsor’s advertising board surrounding the linesman’s chair, and a piece struck the linesmans leg, drawing blood. Tournament Supervisor Tom Barnes in consult with umpire Fergus Murphy then defaulted Nalbandian for unsportsmanlike conduct, handing the title to Cilic.
“It’s unsportsmanlike conduct, and the supervisor has the authority to declare an immediate default,” Barnes told the media. “Once I saw the injury [it] was not a judgment call. I didn’t have any other option.”
Nalbandian by ATP rules forfeits all rankings points and prize money earned at the tournament.
“I made a mistake and I apologize,” Nalbandian said. “I feel very sorry to the guy. I didn’t want to do that. This is a bad situation for everybody that I really apologize for.”
Nalbandian then further jammed his foot in his mouth, lambasting the ATP as too controlling.
Cilic, sidelined the first seven weeks of the year with a knee injury, won his seventh career title.
“I’m definitely very sorry to finish the tournament like this, especially in the final where we both I think played good tennis,” Cilic said. “He was playing also some great rallies and in those last two games it was extremely interesting with making two breaks one of each side. So I think it was good tennis today.”
It was a long-overdue first grasscourt title for Cilic, whose style suits the lawns, and his first title since St. Petersburg last October.
Oudin, Jankovic to Complete WTA Birmingham on Monday
Former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic and American hopeful Melanie Oudin will contest the final of the AEGON Classic on Monday after rain-delayed quarterfinal and semifinal matches were completed on Sunday.
On Sunday Jankovic beat Misaki Doi 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals, and qualifier Zheng Jie 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-1 in the semifinals.
The qualifier Oudin defeated fellow American Irina Falconi 6-4, 5-7, 7-5, and in the semifinals beat No. 8 seed Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
“I’ve played six or seven matches in a row here now and I feel my confidence building with each one,” Oudin said. “I’ve always loved playing on grass. I think my forehand is one of my biggest weapons and since I hit it so flat it goes through the court a lot on grass.”
Oudin beat Jankovic in their only previous meeting, at Wimbledon in 2009.
Cornet Ends 4-year Title Drought at WTA Gastein
France’s Alize Cornet defeated Yanina Wickmayer 7-5, 7-6(1) for the N�RNBERGER Gastein Ladies title on Sunday.
“I was playing a lot of chip and slice today — she plays really aggressively, and I can’t play like her or she will kill me,” Cornet said. “I knew it would be a really tough match. Yanina’s a really good player. I was about to lose the second set but I fought so much and tried to stay calm and positive, and that helped.”
It was Cornet’s second WTA title, four years after her first.
“It has been four years I haven’t won a singles title, so it’s just happiness now. I’m so happy,” Cornet said. “It’s been a super week. I really love this tournament. I love the people here and I feel everybody loves me as well. I’m not Austrian, but I feel like I’m Austrian when I’m here.”
Wickmayer dropped to 3-5 in finals.
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