Following their strong performances in the opening round of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, World No. 12 Tommy Haas and Polish no. 1 Jerzy Janowicz will meet on Thursday afternoon for a spot in the quarter-finals. This marks the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, which will add to the intrigue of this match.
After a disappointing start to his season, where he lost in the opening round in Auckland, as well as the opening round in Melbourne to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Germany’s Tommy Haas has recovered nicely to reach his first ATP World Tour final this season. While he would lose in Zagreb to Marin Cilic, it was the first strong week on the tour this season for Haas and an opportunity for him to string together several impressive weeks on the tour.
His first match-up in Rotterdam was far from the simplest, as Spain’s Fernando Verdasco snatched the first set and battled hard to try and eliminate Haas early on, but the 35-year-old remained focused and managed to steal the victory in three gruelling sets after two hours and 30 minutes of playing time.
“It’s even better winning a round when you are making your debut at a tournament” said Haas. “It was a tough match. I had a couple of chances in the first set, up a break and then in the tie-break. I felt I got a little unlucky, when he took it. I did well to recover a break in the third set, so I am pleased that I stayed with him.”
World No. 20 Jerzy Janowicz improved to a perfect 3-0 head-to-head record against France’s Julien Benneteau, after rallying from a terrible start to earn a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory in just under two hours. After suffering a foot injury several weeks back, Janowicz returned to action in Montpellier, where he reached the semi-finals before losing to Richard Gasquet. Now that it appears his injury has healed, the Pole will be a serious threat to Haas tomorrow afternoon.
This is the first time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Haas taking the place of the expected favourite. Both are coming off gruelling three set battles, yet since Haas’ first round match took place a day later than Janowicz’s, fatigue may factor into this contest. Haas has struggled against big servers since the start of the season and it will be interesting to see if he will have an answer for the Janowicz tomorrow afternoon.
Prediction: Jerzy Janowicz in Three Sets