Federer beaten by 39-year-old Haas on Stuttgart return

Nadal shows off his new silverware. Image Getty

At the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships, top seed Marin Cilic will meet Janko Tipsarevic in the second round, after the Serbian ousted Yuichi Sugita 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-0.

He squandered a matchpoint in the second set as 39-year-old Haas, in his farewell season, proved more consistent, eventually setting up a quarter-final clash against countryman Mischa Zverev.

A crucial break in the fifth game of the decider gave veteran Haas his superb win, but Federer was left to rue an astonishing seven break-point opportunities in the set.

Each man then collected a series of holds to set up the tiebreaker, in which Federer made the first error to trail 6-4.

"There are no more breaks now", he said in an interview with the ATP Tour. Federer, meanwhile, couldn't win a break point on his own serve at 2-2.




This is his first competitive match after two months of absence from the courts, and he couldn't dream for a worse performance. The timing on his new and improved early-strike backhand was off at times.

Three set points were wasted by the German but Federer double faulted when defending the fourth - having previously wasted his only match point. It's been awhile since I have won back-to-back matches and to do it today against Roger is obviously one of my career highlights. "And this is the beginning here at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart", he went on to add. Last year, he reached the semis before losing to the eventual champion Dominic Thiem.

Set to retire soon, Haas is ranked outside the top 300 only because of constant injuries.

Federer's only other loss this season came against Evgeny Donskoy in Dubai, where he again spurned match points. The No. 2 player in the world suffered the biggest upset loss of his career on Wednesday, falling to world No. 302 Tommy Haas at the Mercedes Open in Germany. It also clinches no worse than third for Novak Djokovic. Federer, of course, skipped the clay schedule, opting out of the French Open which was won (with relative ease) by Rafael Nadal.

Haas is a better player than his current ranking suggests, but Federer was expected to win with little fuss.

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