The talented Italian finally managed to win his first ATP title last week in Stuttgart and has continued his sparkling form here in Hamburg. He dropped just four games in beating Albert Ramos in the first round and backed that up with a straightforward 6-2, 6-4 win over Marcel Granollers today. His return game has been in excellent touch recently, creating a huge 27 break points in his two matches so far. After seven matches in eleven days, fatigue may start to creep in soon, but just one of those matches went three sets.
Tommy Haas continues to defy his age, although his performances have been less than convincing recently. A poor defeat to Fognini last week was followed by an unimpressive three set win over Blaz Kavcic here. However, he showed glimpses of his quality when he beat Carlos Berlocq today, despite a real wobble when trying to close out the match. He does have good memories of this tournament though, having made the final last year and has already spoken of his desire to set up a final against Roger Federer.
Their only previous match came just last week in Stuttgart, where Fabio Fognini came through surprisingly easily 6-2, 6-4. The Italian served impressively and dominated the rallies throughout, not giving the German a sniff at any stage. Tommy Haas made far too many unforced errors and he will be hoping for a far more solid performance in this rematch.
“It would be nice, getting to another final here, but it’s a long way to go and a lot of good players around. I’m happy to be here to play another round and we’ll see what happens” – Tommy Haas after his first round win against Blaz Kavcic.
“This gives me a lot of confidence. I will never forget my first title” – Fabio Fognini after lifting the title in Stuttgart on Sunday.
This should be a fascinating contest. Tommy Haas will have the support of the crowd, but he needs to up his game from the disappointing defeat last week. He needs to look to dominate the points more and cut out the unforced errors. Fognini will just keep doing what he has been doing over the past ten days. He is full of confidence and is playing some excellent tennis right now. I suspect Tommy Haas might just edge this, but it would be no surprise to see this go the distance.
The Rest of the Matches
Fernando Verdasco came past Jerzy Janowicz without too many problems and has been in excellent form recently, if you exclude the sloppy final defeat to Carlos Berlocq. He should have no problems with Federico Delbonis, who beat Dmitry Tursunov in a low quality affair today. Juan Monaco is the defending champion, but is up against it when he faces Nicolas Almagro. The H2H is 5-3 in the Spaniard’s favour and I would expect him to progress again here. Finally, Roger Federer will face his toughest test so far against Florian Mayer, who has dispatched Davydenko, Dolgopolov and Lopez without dropping a set. It should be a competitive match, but it would be a real surprise were Federer not to progress.