Federer survives five-set battle
Posted 02 June 2009 - 03:05 AM
Venue: Roland Garros Date: 24 May - 7 June
Coverage: Live on BBC Red Button, live streaming and daily text commentary on BBC Sport website, updates on BBC Radio 5 Live plus second week commentary on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra. TV coverage on Eurosport.
Federer produced a stirring comeback to see off Haas
Roger Federer kept his dream of a first French Open title alive by coming back from two sets down to beat the unseeded Tommy Haas and reach the last eight.
The exit of Federer's nemesis Rafael Nadal on Sunday has increased the second seed's hopes of glory in Paris.
But he was in big trouble when Haas won the first set on a tie-break and put on a late surge for the second set too.
Federer had to save a vital break point at 3-4 in the third set and recovered to triumph 6-7 (4-7) 5-7 6-4 6-0 6-2.
The 27-year-old Swiss star has lost in each of the last three Paris finals to Nadal, and Roland Garros remains the only Grand Slam he has never won.
He was hot favourite to overcome Haas, at 32 the oldest man in the tournament, and began convincingly enough - winning every point in his first six service games.
But Federer could not break Haas either, and came off the rails dramatically at the start of the ensuing tie-break with a spate of errors that gave his opponent a 5-2 lead, and the German eventually served out for the set.
A Federer v Murray final, the way they've both been playing, could turn out to be an absolute classic. Fingers crossed for that!
At the start of the second set it appeared Federer was back in control after he regained his composure to go a break up early on but again he paid the price for losing focus.
Haas led 5-4 after breaking back and, with Federer's forehand now faltering, repeated the trick when he was 6-5 up to move two sets clear.
By now Federer's hopes were on a knife edge but he remained calm and found some sparkling shots to save himself when he was in trouble again at 3-4 in the third set - most crucially a huge forehand passing shot at 30-40.
You sensed Haas knew his chance had gone and, after quickly wrapping up the third set, Federer ran away with the fourth.
Things were much tighter at the start of the decider but Federer did not have to wait long for his chance, breaking to lead 3-2 when Haas saw a wild forehand fly well long.
From there, Federer was relatively untroubled as he closed out the match and he will play sixth seed Andy Roddick or French hero Gael Monfils in the quarter-finals.
Also in action later on Monday are fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro and another home hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who meet in an enticing clash.
The winner of that match will play 16th seed Tommy Robredo of Spain, who beat Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.
Posted 02 June 2009 - 12:52 PM