Tennis: Haas upsets Djokovic to win final in Germany
AP Sports Writer
HALLE, Germany — Tommy Haas upset Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-1 Sunday to win the Gerry Weber Open for his first grass-court title.
The 31-year-old German became the oldest ATP Tour winner this year. Haas has 12 career titles and now has won on all surfaces.
"It's a great accomplishment for me," he said. "It's such a great feeling to hold a trophy again. It makes all the setbacks go away."
In defeating the second-seeded Serb in this Wimbledon warmup, Haas won his first title since February 2007 in Memphis, Tenn.
"It means a lot to me to beat a player as classy as you in the final," Haas said during the victory ceremony. The sellout crowd of 11,500 gave him a standing ovation.
Haas was ranked No. 2 in 2002, but was then slowed by injuries. He had shoulder surgery for the third time in November 2007. He entered this week's tournament ranked No. 41 and will move up about five spots.
"It's incredible, I can hardly believe it myself when I think of the highs and lows I've been through in the last year and a half," Haas said. "It's been a dream week."
He was coming off his best showing at the French Open in seven years when he reached the fourth round, losing to eventual champion Roger Federer after winning the first two sets.
"Right now, I am not thinking of Wimbledon at all," Haas said. "I am just enjoying the moment because I don't know if I'll have many more moments like this. But I surely will have more confidence going there, and I am leaving here with a big smile."
Djokovic was in his second career final on grass, after Queen's Club last year. This season, he has two titles and four losses in finals.
"I did not play well at all," Djokovic said. "I was lucky to win the second set."
Haas never faced a break point in the first two sets. His two double-faults in the tiebreaker allowed Djokovic to lead 5-2. Djokovic lost the next two points, however, including one when he made a rare advance to the net behind a second serve. Haas had the chance to pull even, but put a backhand wide. Facing a set point, Haas produced his third double-fault.
"I would have lost the set without those double-faults," Djokovic said.
After a long first game in the third, Djokovic double-faulted twice in dropping his serve in the second game. Haas faced his first break points of the match in the next, but he saved all four of them to go up 3-0.
"I didn't put any pressure on his serve," Djokovic said. "I served very badly, I did not return well, I gave him many opportunities. But it was a good week and getting to the final is a good achievement."