German player Tommy Haas was able to overcome Argentine David Nalbandian 6-7 (0) 7-6 (4) 6-3 in an epic match that lasted more than three hours to reach the second round of Cincinnati Masters.
There were many ups and down in the performance of both players. Haas had the early lead in the first set, breaking Nalbandian’s serve in the second game. He then kept holding serve until he was one game away from winning the first set at 5-2. However, the 30-years old Nalbandian managed to save a couple of set points before breaking back and taking the set to a tiebreak. The Argentine world no. 39 stepped up a gear and without dropping a single point in the ‘breaker’, he took the lead in the match. Nalbandian’s serve backed him up big time in the first set as he managed to win 81 percent of points after his first serve found it’s mark.
In the second set, the games were much longer with many deuces, but it was Nalbandian who took the early lead just before the 34-year old Haas was able to get the break back and after saving a match point, he forced another tiebreak. This time it was the German who kept his composure and winning it 7-4, he levelled the match at one set apiece. In this set both players had plenty of break point opportunities, with Haas saving 10/11 and Nalbandian saving 6/7.
The third and final set wasn’t as tight as the previous two, with the world no. 23 having the edge over the Argentine and one break was enough for Haas to finish the set 6-3.
Overall, the German hit 49 winners against the Argentine’s 50. It’s the second time in two weeks that Haas has defeated Nalbandian in three sets after beating him at the Toronto Masters a week ago. This was the fifth straight loss for Nalbandian since the line judge incident in Queens. Haas will now play against another Argentine player, Juan Martin Del Potro, who is ranked number 9 in the world. Del Potro defeated Haas in their previous two encounters, which were both on hard courts.