Competing in his last season, the German veteran Tommy Haas was eager to show his best tennis in 2017 and make the best farewell. In the second round in Stuttgart, Tommy fended off a match point against his old friend Roger Federer in a 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory in an hour and 54 minutes, advancing into the first ATP quarter-final since Rome 2014!
It was the first match for Federer since the final of the Miami Masters 1000 event, skipping the entire clay swing and hoping to find the form on beloved grass. The Swiss was off to a perfect start, opening a set and a break advantage and squandering that match point in the second set tie break, just like against Dominic Thiem a year earlier.
It was the first defeat for Federer in the opening match of the ATP event on grass since Wimbledon 2002, and Tommy became the first player outside the top-300 with a win over Roger since Washington 1999.
The German also became the oldest ATP quarter-finalist since Jimmy Connors in Halle 1995.
Federer fired 23 aces and won nine points more than Haas, getting broken twice from three chances offered to the German and still ending on the losing side. Tommy survived nine out of 12 break opportunities, doing his best in the second set tie break and using that momentum in the decider to notch his last ATP victory!
Roger had the upper hand in the shortest department up to four strokes thanks to those service winners, with Tommy staying in touch in the more advanced rallies to cross the finish line first. Haas sprayed a backhand error in the encounter's opening game to suffer a break at 15, with Federer cementing the advantage thanks to a perfect volley winner in game two.
The Swiss repelled a break point in the sixth game to remain in front, earning another break and holding at love with a forehand winner for a 6-2 after 22 minutes. A backhand return winner clinched another break for the Swiss in the third game of the second set, forging a massive lead but wasting it in the very next one when Tommy pulled the break back to stay in contention.
At 4-4, the German erased a break point with an ace, missing two set points at 6-4 in the tie break and facing a match point at 7-8. Tommy saved it after a backhand error from Federer who hit a double fault at 8-9 to hand the set to the home player.
In the fourth game of the decider, Haas defended three break chances and grabbed a break in the next one to open a 3-2 gap, playing against four more break opportunities to cement the advantage and move 4-2 in front. Serving for the victory at 5-4, Haas fired three winners to seal the deal and topple a great friend, in what would be his final ATP victory in a career.