He saved four match points in the second-set tiebreak but in the end, after two hours and 22 minutes, David couldn't stop Tommy Haas from converting his altogether sixth match point for a 6-2, 6-7(11), 6-3 victory. So Haas keeps his perfect record against David. And David's losing streak of first-round matches continues. Next up now Cincy.
|(Getty Images; montage by VD)|
"For old times' sake", "a match from the old days" and of course the inevitable "battle of the veterans" - those are just a few of the things that have been said about David's first-round match at Toronto today. But whether or not you like to think of David as a veteran on the ATP Tour, if there's anyone who merits that description then it's Tommy Haas. At 34 years of age the oldest player in the Top50 (and the second oldest in the Top100), who reached his career-high ranking of #2 the year that David had his breakthrough on the Tour, in 2002.
Tommy Haas, ranked #25 as of this week, is one of the few players on the Tour whose bad luck with injuries exceeds David's - and by some margin. But despite various injuries and surgeries and several very long pauses, Haas always came back again in the end and this season, he has posted some good results, with the title he won at Halle (against Roger Federer in the final) as the obvious highlight, plus the semifinal he reached at Munich (lost to Cilic) and two final appearances, at Hamburg (lost to Pico) and, merely two days ago, at Washington, where he was defeated by Alexandr Dolgolpolov in three sets. And perhaps, Haas will still be bit tired from his week at Washington.
In terms of the match-up, Tommy Haas is the exact sort of player to cause David trouble
- and the match record shows it. They've met three times so far and Haas won all three of their encounters, the most recent of which took place at the Australian Open 2007. Five and a half years ago but Haas still has a game that combines a couple of factors, destined to make things difficult for David. A serve that in the past David didn't find easy to break. A strong backhand that Haas can use to exploit David's weaker forehand and movement on that side, especially by going down the line. And an aggressive game that includes attacks at the net, not giving David the rhythm from the baseline that he likes. In short, for David, it'll be crucial to try and play this match on his own terms, instead of reacting to Haas. In the course of their three previous matches, David managed to win two sets. Here's hoping that he can add another two today.