TORONTO: Tommy Haas worked for almost two and a half hours to enter the second round of the Toronto Masters, with the German comeback king defeating Argentina’s David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-7 (11-13), 6-3 on Tuesday.
The German survived thanks to seven aces and six breaks of Nalbandian. “It’s really only been the last four or five months that I’m really playing some high quality tennis again where I feel like I can pretty much still beat anybody.”
Haas barely had time to adjust after flying in from Washington, where he lost a tight final on Sunday night to Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine.
Dologpolov, by contrast, was sent packing in his opener in Canada as he won just two games against Czech Radek Stepanek. The winner now faces London Olympic bronze medallist Juan del Potro. Haas, 34 and the 30-year-old Nalbandian, a pair of former top three players, have both been in working on comebacks.
In other first-round results, Russian Mikhail Youzhny defeated South African Kevin Anderson 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) while Los Angeles winner Sam Querrey beat slumping Austrian Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-2.
In the second round, Argentine seventh seed Juan Monaco added a third Canadian to the loss list with his win over Vasek Pospisil 7-5, 6-4. Mardy Fish, seeded 11th, allowed Australian Matthew Ebden just two games in a crushing defeat.
Holder Novak Djokovic began the switch from Olympic grass to summer cement, with the world No 2 convinced he can lift his game with just under three weeks remaining before the start of the US Open.
Djokovic, with only this week and next in Cincinnati to prepare for the US Open which he won a year ago, knows that time is running short for him to get adjusted to hardcourt.