An entertaining contest between world No. 12 Tommy Haas and American wildcard entrant Jack Sock takes place in the second round of the Heineken Open in Auckland. This marks the first tournament of the season for both contestants, as they prepare for the first Grand Slam of the season next week in Melbourne. They have previously met on one occasion, with Haas leading the head-to-head record 1-0.
Tommy Haas highlighted his 2013 season by becoming the oldest player to finish in the top 20 since Andre Agassi finished at no. 7 in 2005. The German reached the quarter-final (or better) on eleven occasions times during year, winning titles in Munich and Vienna along the way. His remarkable year allowed him to finish inside the top 12 for first time since 2007. Now, Haas will be looking to further that momentum and break into the top 10 in the world, starting with a strong showing in Auckland before focusing his efforts on the Australian Open.
Fourteen years Haas’s junior, Jack Sock is one of the young Americans to watch out for on the tour. The world no. 100 took advantage of his wildcard entry into Auckland with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Adrian Mannarino in the opening round. He will be looking to further his lead with another upset victory in his second round match against Tommy Haas.
The two athletes will meet for the second time on the professional tour tomorrow afternoon. They previously met in the second round of last year’s French Open, where Haas was victorious in three sets. He would later reach the quarter-final stage of the tournament, in what was considered a magnificent year for the 35-year-old. Now, just over seven months later, Haas and Sock will square off in yet another second-round contest, this time with lesser stakes. While Sock’s serve should keep him competitive against any almost any player on the tour, Haas is far more experienced in the main draw of tournaments and should stand as a hefty favourite over the American wildcard.
Prediction: Tommy Hass in Straight Sets