Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 2nd 2013 Contents A54
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt June 2, 2013
PARIS---After letting 12 match
points slip away in the fourth set,
35-year-old Tommy Haas came
back from a break down in the
fifth and beat John Isner 7-5, 7-
6 (4), 4-6, 6-7 (10), 10-8, at the
French Open yesterday.
The match lasted 4 hours, 37
minutes. That s brief compared to
the 11-plus hours Isner played across
three days during his victory over
Nicolas Mahut in the first round
at Wimbledon three years ago.
Haas, like everyone else, associates
Isner with that marathon to top all
"I was definitely hoping it wasn t
going to go like in Wimbledon with
him and Mahut. I was probably
going to wave the white flag before
that," the 12th-seeded Haas said.
"That was not going to happen to
Haas was one point away from
winning 12 times late in the fourth
set. The International Tennis Fed-
eration said the most match points
saved in any men s match on record
were the 11 erased by Adriano
Panatta when he wound up defeat-
ing Kim Warwick in Rome in 1976.
In the 2000 French Open final,
Magnus Norman saved ten match
points before losing to Gustavo
Kuerten on the 11th.
Neither Haas nor the 19th-seed-
ed Isner realized just how many
there were on Saturday.
"I lost track totally," Haas said.
He was only two for 22 on break-
point chances until converting his
23rd of the match when Isner put
a volley in the net. Haas then served
out the victory.
Haas is the first man to reach
the fourth round at Roland Garros
at 35 since Jonas Bjorkman was that
age in 2007, and yet by the end, he
looked to be the fresher man against
the 19th-seeded Isner, who is 28.
At the changeover before the very
last game, Isner chose not to even
sit in his sideline chair, leaning over
with his hands on his knees and
his chest heaving.
Isner never had come back to
win after dropping the first two
sets of a match, until he did it on
Friday in Paris against Ryan Har-
rison in an all-US matchup. But
Isner couldn t quite pull off that
trick twice in a span of about 30
hours, coming so close to another
big comeback against Haas.
He had his chance to win, too.
Leading 5-4 in the fifth set as Haas
served, Isner earned his first, and
only, match point. But Isner flubbed
a backhand on a 12-stroke
In Paris a year ago, Isner lost 18-
16 in the second round to Paul-
Henri Mathieu, a Frenchman ranked
outside the top 250 at the time.
That one lasted 5 hours, 41 minutes,
making it the second-longest
match, by time, in French Open
"These long matches seem to
follow me," Isner said, his words
drawn out slowly.
Against Haas, Isner already had
saved nine match points before they
even got around to playing the
That s where Haas, a four-time
Grand Slam semifinalist, got three
more chances to end things. Down
7-6 in the tiebreaker, though, Isner
hit an ace. Then, with Haas getting
a chance to serve while ahead 8-
7, the German double-faulted. And
at 9-8, making it an even dozen
opportunities to win, Haas pushed
a backhand into the net.
Isner eventually converted his
third set point, at 11-10, with a
service winner, and a wide smile
creased his face.
The match was more than 3½
hours old, but it finally was even,
at two sets apiece.
"It s obviously a great match to
be a part of, especially at such a
big event, against somebody that
is very used to those kinds of
matches," Haas said. "Unfortunate-
ly, one has to lose, and I think it
would have been more upsetting
for me in this case after having
many chances in the fourth set
That fourth set lasted more than
an hour, and the fifth would, too,
even though Isner broke in the
opening game en route to grabbing
a 3-0 lead.
But he couldn t hold on, despite
27 aces over the course of the late
afternoon and early evening on
Haas beats Isner at French Open
Novak Djokovic (1), Serbia, def.
Grigor Dimitrov (26), Bulgaria, 6-2, 6-
Rafael Nadal (3), Spain, def. Fabio
Fognini (27), Italy, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4.
Richard Gasquet (7), France, def.
Nikolay Davydenko, Russia, 6-4, 6-4,
Janko Tipsarevic (8), Serbia, lost to
Mikhail Youzhny (29), Russia, 6-4, 6-
Stanislas Wawrinka (9), Switzerland,
def. Jerzy Janowicz (21), Poland, 6-3,
6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-3.
Tommy Haas (12), Germany, def.
John Isner (19), United States, 7-5, 7-
6 (4), 4-6, 6-7 (10), 10-8.
Kei Nishikori (13), Japan, def. Benoit
Paire (24), France, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-
Philipp Kohlschreiber (16), Germany,
def. Victor Hanescu, Romania, 6-0, 7-
6 (0), 6-1.
John Isner (19), United States, lost to
Tommy Haas (12), Germany, 7-5, 7-6
(4), 4-6, 6-7 (10), 10-8.
Jerzy Janowicz (21), Poland, lost to
Stanislas Wawrinka (9), Switzerland,
6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-3.
Benoit Paire (24), France, lost to Kei
Nishikori (13), Japan, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-4,
Grigor Dimitrov (26), Bulgaria, lost to
Novak Djokovic (1), Serbia, 6-2, 6-2,
Fabio Fognini (27), Italy, lost to
Rafael Nadal (3), Spain, 7-6 (5), 6-4,
Mikhail Youzhny (29), Russia, def.
Janko Tipsarevic (8), Serbia, 6-4, 6-4,
Maria Sharapova (2), Russia, def.
Zheng Jie, China, 6-1, 7-5.
Victoria Azarenka (3), Belarus, def.
Alize Cornet (31), France, 4-6, 6-3, 6-
Petra Kvitova (7), Czech Republic,
lost to Jamie Hampton, United
States, 6-1, 7-6 (7).
Sam Stosur (9), Australia, lost to
Jelena Jankovic (18), Serbia, 3-6, 6-3,
Maria Kirilenko (12), Russia, def.
Stefanie Voegele, Switzerland, 7-6
Marion Bartoli (13), France, lost to
Francesca Schiavone, Italy, 6-2, 6-1.
Sloane Stephens (17), United States,
def. Marina Erakovic, New Zealand,
6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3.
Jelena Jankovic (18), Serbia, def.
Sam Stosur (9), Australia, 3-6, 6-3, 6-
Alize Cornet (31), France, lost to
Victoria Azarenka (3), Belarus, 4-6,
Court 1, which is known as the "bull-
ring" because of its oval shape. A large
segment of the crowd, cheering for Haas,
broke into clap-accompanied chants of
Haas moved on to face No. 29 Mikhail
Youzhny of Russia for a berth in the
Tommy Haas of Germany returns against John Isner of the US in their third-round match at the French Open tennis tournament, at Roland Garros stadium in Paris, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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