Mon, Aug 06, 2012 - Page 17 News List

Haas beats Mardy Fish, Rybarikova wins final


Tommy Haas of Germany returns a ball from Mardy Fish of the US during their semi-final in Washington on Saturday.

Photo: EPA

German veteran Tommy Haas reached his first final in Washington at the ATP/WTA hardcourt event on Saturday on his seventh attempt with a 6-3, 7-5 defeat of top seed Mardy Fish.

“To finally reach the final on my seventh time here is crazy,” said Haas, who did not commit an unforced error and lost only two points in serve in the first set. “Who would have thought to have done that at my age. It means a lot to me, to be in this final is a great feeling.”

The 34-year-old Haas was aiming for his 14th career ATP Tour title yesterday. Haas is currently ranked 36th in the world after starting the season at 205th because of a string of injuries, including hip and elbow surgeries in recent years.

Fourth seeded Haas, who was ranked as high as second on the ATP in 2002, will face second seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, who beat eighth seed Sam Querrey, 6-4, 6-4 in 74 minutes. Dolgopolov had eight aces and a break of serve per set.

Dolgopolov will try to win his second ATP title after ending Querrey’s seven match win streak.

In the women’s final, Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia upset top seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 6-1 to win the third title of her career.

Pavlyuchenkova won her semi-final just 24 hours earlier despite suffering from a heat-related illness. Haas will be playing his third final in his last five events. He dominated in the opening set, but got some stiff resistance from Fish in the second. The American forced Haas to save a pair of break points in the second game of the set before the pair settled back into their battle on serve.

The German struck after saving a set point in the tenth game as he won a 19-point exchange to hold serve.

Haas then took advantage with a break a game later in which Fish saved two break points with aces, but double-faulted into a third, which Haas converted for 6-5.

Haas served it out a game later to end in 93 minutes with 21 winners and just seven unforced errors.

“That doesn’t happen very often — especially with my game,” said the 16-year ATP veteran, who is into his 24th final.

“I knew I had to come out aggressive,” Haas said.

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