Stepanek beats Isner, Haas ousts Tipsarevic to reach Shanghai QFs

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Tennis veterans Tommy Haas and Radek Stepanek eliminated their seeded rivals to reach Shanghai ATP tournament quarterfinal stage.

German veteran Haas rolled back the years again with a wonderful performance against sixth seed Janko Tipsarevic. Haas took 93% (Tipsarevic 66%) of his first serve points, dominated the second serves won percentage (50-21%), and shook off his only break point scare. He stole the Serbian athlete’s serve to take a 4-2 first set lead. The German was in a hurry to bring the opener home and was persistent enough to convert the sixth set point on Tipsarevic’s serve. That was a great confidence boost for Haas who bossed the Serb around in the second set, too. When Halle 2012 title holder broke Tipsarevic to love for a 5-1 advantage, the clash was over as a contest. An easy hold in the final game meant Haas made it to the quarters with a 6-2, 6-1 thrashing win. He will now have an honour to challenge second seed Nole Djokovic for a spot in Shanghai semis.

Unseeded Czech Stepanek will be mighty proud of his second round serving against eighth seed US player John Isner. Although the latter smashed 17 aces in total, he got broken in the seventh game of the first set. Stepanek did his duty and served out the opener calmly. A head-to-head second set race as both players held their serves until a single mini-break in the thirteenth game told them apart – it was one set a piece between them. Still, Stepanek did not lose his rhythm as he clinched this year’s Newport and Winston-Salem conqueror’s service game for a 4-2 advantage. Some cat and mouse game followed as the American saved the first match point on his serve at 5-2, yet he was merely putting off the inevitable – Stepanek rose to the occasion once again with a smooth hold that granted him a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 triumph.

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