Haas Wins, Safin Out; Tuesday Schedule at ATP Madrid
by Staff | May 11th, 2009, 8:39 pm

Former No. 1 Tommy Haas, American Mardy Fish and former Top 10er Ivan Ljubicic all put in strong unseeded efforts Monday in advancing into the second round at the Masters-Madrid.
Haas, who needed to qualify into the main draw, out-dueled the explosive Ernests Gulbis in three sets. Ljubicic, who needed a wildcard to get into the main draw, straight-setted Russian qualifier Teimuraz Gabashvili, while Fish defeated Janko Tipsarevic in straights.

All three seeds in action advanced in straight sets in No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (d. Marat Safin), No. 11 Stan Wawrinka, and No. 12 David Ferrer (d. (Q) Guillermo Canas).

“I didn’t feel comfortable at any moment in the match, so I was all the time playing behind and I tried to find my game,” said Safin. “I couldn’t do anything special so it was annoying to be there on the court and not be able to find the game, so basically I had to wait for his mistakes. It was a little bit absurd, so, it’s a disappointment but what can you do?”

Other wildcards successfully into the second round were Juan Monaco (d. Feliciano Lopez) and Oscar Hernandez.

Tuesday highlights in Madrid include [16] Robredo vs. Fish, [WC] Ferrero vs. [7] Verdasco in an all-Spanish, Soderling vs. [2] Federer, [9] Tsonga vs. [WC] Ljubicic, and [14] Blake vs. Hanescu.

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38 Comments for Haas Wins, Safin Out; Tuesday Schedule at ATP Madrid

Kimmi Says:

Poor Safin, the fall continues. 1st round with Tsonga will always be tough for him. He is just hanging in there right now. Wimbledon results will see him tumbling down the ranking. I wish him well.

Is this year his last?

Alex Says:

I think Safin is not playing for ranking now, his is just saying his goodbye and hoping to play some good tennis before he go.

Yes this year is his last, and his character will be missed by many.

jane Says:

And here’s another one, Von, in which the writer predicts Roddick the reach the semis at Madrid.


sensationalsafin Says:

Jane, I don’t know what Steve Tignor is thinking but there is no way Roddick is making the semis in Madrid. Who’s going to beat Federer? Certainly not Roddick. Not on clay. Not a chance. I expect him to lose to Davydenko.

Tj Says:

Safin did not seem to be on the match at all. I think he just play along what to be his last year, he was not as determined as 3-4 years ago, especially in the match with Fed at Semi of the AO 2005. Really sorry to miss him.

Al Says:

I guess anything can happen in a match. However, the top 4 players have been playing on clay and getting their clay court game together. Why would Andy who has done nothing to improve his game—has he even played a clay court match this year?, all of a sudden jump onto a clay court and start winning.

Safin said that this would be his last year. It is really tough to play your best when you are thinking of other things. The same thing happened to Kim, of course she was getting married but she tried to do the last year thing but she could not get through it. It wasn’t too much fun watching her play either. Fortunately she quit early.

BT Says:

Just to be nitpicky… Tommy Haas is not a former Number 1. He is a former Number 2.

jane Says:

Well, I assume Tignor has his reasons: for one, he might think that Roddick will fare well at the high altitude and the ball plays quicker there. For another, he may be thinking about Roddick’s improved fitness and that this may serve him well on a surface that rewards fitness. Finally, he may be thinking back to Roddick’s surprise run to the semis in Rome last year, or to his 5 set clay court match against Ferrer in Davis Cup. He might also be considering Andy’s H2H with Davydenko, which is 5-1 (and remember that Blake just beat Davy on clay), and Tignor may finally be thinking about Federer’s form, or lack thereof.

This is all speculation, but I don’t think it’s out-of-this-world for Tignor to make this call. Perhaps, yes, it is the less predictable pick, but we shouldn’t forget that Roddick is number 6 in the world for a reason.

Having said all this Roddick will have to play close to his best to get past first Haas then likely Davy. Fed caught a break, imo, as Andreev pulled out by the looks of it so he has a relatively easy path to the quarters.

thetennisguy Says:

Former No.1 Tommy Haas? Really? I don’t think so. I know he reached number 2, but when did he reach number 1?

Michael gaobest Says:

Haas was always former #2. Tennis-X just erred, but it’s funny as they *usually* mention that he’s been #2 before. I was surprised that he had to qualify, it makes me realize how little I’ve noticed of him for the past 2 or so years…

Anyway sad about Safin – is he doing any doubles? It’s really hard to believe that AO ’05 is his *last* title, how amazing yet sad. It’s almost as if after that title, he “lost” incentive to keep it up and going… although with retirement, hopefully he’ll no longer have major leg/knee pain.

I’m glad Roddick and Fish are playing Madrid – are they doubling as well, since surely they know that neither has a chance to win. Then again I wouldn’t have thought of James Blake as finalist for Estoril, shame that he had to play twice on the same day. Just goes to show how valuable that extra rest can be for any player (Fed/Murray at US Open ’08, anyone??).

Von Says:


Thanks for those links. I liked the posts on Bleachereport — there were some positive Roddick fans; in comparison to here where I’m practically the only one fighting for survival. Ha, ha. I’m tempted to join them. It gets boring being the only one here trying to blend in.

I think Tignor has high hopes but realistically, Roddick has not played for close to two months. If you remember our discussion, I stated he’s match deprived. I could see him grooving back into form on hard court or grass, but not clay. He has a pretty tough path to the QFs while Fed has no one who could challenge him. Roddick has Haas, who’s always a spoiler and Davydenko, who’s so good on clay. Oh well, c’est la vie! The thing with these reporters, they know Roddick is news and, regardles of his ranking, be it No. 8, 20 or 30, on a blog they can get hits, so they’ll write, even if it’s far removed from reality.

jane Says:

Von, after the Tignor article there are defenders of Tignor’s pick (i.e., Roddick fans) as well. I can see it as a long shot, but as I said above, there are arguable reasons for his pick. That said, I agree with you that Andy has a much tougher path to the quarters than Federer.

Did you notice that Fish and Delpo are playing doubles? They beat caly courters Almagro and Ferrer today, easily.

Von Says:

Recovery time is very important, but there are some players who get that adrenalin rush and can’t settle down for a pause to refresh. They are the ones who thrive best with the least rest. It’s one of the reasons I don’t understand the concern by some fans when Nadal doesn’t have enough recovery time because he’s got excess energy, so much so he can’t sit still even between breaks, where we see his leg jumping while sitting down. On the other hand, there are those who can’t function unless they have some extra time ,and if they don’t, they fall apart. I suppose it’s what makes the sport so interesting.

I believe Blake expended too much time fighting off Davydenko and had nothing left after the second set to beat Montanes. I think these are instances where the tournament directors could use some commonsense and schedule the finals at a later time — an evening match perhaps.

Von Says:

Jane; “..after the Tignor article there are defenders of Tignor’s pick (i.e., Roddick fans) as well.”

It’s why I said it was nice to see some Roddick fans commenting, unlike here where I’m the lone poster, and all I see is derogogatory nit-picking from some of the posters here whenever anything is written with respect to Andy. I’d like to have some Roddick fans here to discuss him, but sadly there’s none around — it gets lonely, if you can identify with that.

I didn’t know Fish was playing doubles with DelPotro. They could win, because Fish is an excellent doubles player– lucky DelPotro. I wonder why Mardy didn’t team up with Sam — keep it in the family so to speak. LOL.

Von Says:

Margot: The pink panther, ha, ha. You know my views on men wearing these hot colors, I’m a black and white, or all white apparel person for some sports. I think the clothing companies are dressing the guys up like Christmas trees, but the guys have a choice, they could refuse. Sadly, some of the players don’t know to dress properly or match colors. Federer has a fashion consultant and it’s the reason his clothes are of the better quality. I hope the pink shirt does not come with matching wrist-bands and bandana. That would definitely be more that over the top, for my liking.

BTW, do the cricketers still wear all white? My dad played cricket, and I loved to see him and my other cousins in their whites, with their preppy looking cardigan vests. They looked so crisp and fresh — I miss those days. I hope cricket remains stodgy sticking with their all-white attire.

jane Says:

“if you can identify with that.” Sure i can – Tennis X was notoriously Federercentric back in 2006-2007 when I started posting here, and I was fairly lonely in sticking up for other players, be they Djokovic, Roddick, and even Rafa back then. I think zola was around and maybe a couple other Rafa fans, but this place was mainly populated by Fed fans. It started to change only at the beginning of 2008.

I was surprised by the Fish/Delpo combo too, hence I mentioned it.

Von Says:

I began posting in 2008, and at that time, as you can well remember, there were tons of Fed fans, many of whom have left when he began his losing streak, and then I saw more Nadal and Djokovic fans appearing as those players began winning more. Now we have a combination of Fed/Nadal/Djokovic and a handful of Murray fans, but sadly for Roddick, I’m the only one who posts regularly, and TD, who’s not around often. There’s definitely been a shift. The ratio was very lopsided in 2008, but what a difference a year makes.

jane Says:

haha – funny sensational safin. “Mr. T” – lol.

JoshDragon Says:

Alex Says:

I think Safin is not playing for ranking now, his is just saying his goodbye and hoping to play some good tennis before he go.

Yes this year is his last, and his character will be missed by many.

Yeah, I agree. I don’t expect Safin will do much at the tournaments but I hope he enjoys his last year on tour.

Ra Says:


thanks for sharing that awesome find.

margot Says:

von: you’ll be relieved to know cricketers still wear whites. Cricket is a more traditional game, I guess and quinticentially English. I remember telling an American friend that matches could last 5 days. I can still recall her shock/horror!

sensationalsafin Says:

Hopefully Federer will do to Nadal what Rocky did to Clubber Lang: 3 swift rounds.

Von Says:

margot: “You’ll be relieved to know cricketers still wear whites.”

Well thank God for small mercies! I can’t imagine seeing those guys in pink shirts. My dad, would surely have a fit.

“I remember telling an American friend that matches could last 5 days. I can still recall her shock/horror!”

You gave her a hit over the boundary for four (4). LOL. Cricket is played here in the US, especially in Boston, which has a huge British population, or more correctly, British ancestry, and also in other parts of the US. I lost interest leaving the Mother Country and it’s never been the same. As you can see, tennis has now filled my life with respect to sports.

Von Says:

“Hopefully Federer will do to Nadal what Rocky did to Clubber Lang: 3 swift rounds.”

Hope, is a good thing, but if wishes were hores, beggars would ride. Modern day, they would fly in the Concorde.

Von Says:

“hores” should be “horses”.

sam Says:

To Von:

fed is gonna win madrid and french open…..

Von Says:

Sam; I’ll be happy for him if he wins, especially the FO. He’s been trying for years and have come close, but no cigar. I’m not a Nadal fan, hence, it doesn’t bother me if Nadal loses to Fed. I mentioned before Madrid that Fed has a good chance of winning there due to the high altitude, plus he’s also very rested. Unfortunately, I’m just echoing the thoughts of many of the posters here, even sincere Fed fans who feel Nadal will be the winner, hence my comment concerning hope.

NachoF Says:

Von Says:
“hores” should be “horses”.


Von Says:

I know phoneticlly how that sounds, and it’s the reason why I corrected it — looks like a Freudian slip, right? Thanks for the laughs. LOL.

NachoF Says:

The funniest part is that if wishes were hores beggars would ‘ride’ LOL.

Kimmi Says:

Oh boy! Murray match today was very tight. The tie break, I could only follow the live score. Next up Robredo, on paper seem easy, robredo has always been easy picking with the top guys, but with murray and clay – one can never tell. All in all a good straight set win.

Another good win will improve his confidence here – he needs that. By the way, Murray has always struggled on his early round matches. I heard him say that it was difficult to return serve, the ball is flying. Looks like advantage big servers here. Talking about big hitters, what happened to Tsonga? Somebody else is struggling on clay, c’mon Tsonga FO needs you. Congratulations Lubicic who has been looking very good recently.

And my buddy federer, good 1st match. He said his serve was feeling good, he got few aces – he is happy, let’s hope the good serving continues.

jane Says:

Funny comic NachoF – thanks for the humour!

Von Says:

“The funniest part is that if wishes were hores beggars would ‘ride’ LOL.”

Both ways they come out riding. LOL. You can’t believe how much I’m laughing.

Nadal is the GOAT Says:

No one will ever beat Rafa Nadal on the clay courts of Roland Garros.

Tj Says:

I’m happy with Ljubicic win over Tsonga. Great. I was hoping him to be able to beat Tsonga at AO, then against Murray at IW.
Good to see he is back again with good win. Hope he can get to QF or Semi here in Madrid.

NaP Says:

What time is match Roddick vs. Haas??

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