• Haas shocks Djokovic, reaches quarterfinal

    3/27/13 4:42 AM | Kelli DeMario
    Haas shocks Djokovic, reaches quarterfinal Veteran Tommy Haas is through to the quarterfinal in Miami, following his straight-sets upset of World No. 1 and two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic. The German will take on 11th seed Gilles Simon in the next round.

    Fifteenth seed Tommy Haas advanced to the final eight after ousting top seed Novak Djokovic Tuesday night. The 34-year-old German converted four of 9 break points en route to a 6-2, 6-4 victory in 80 minutes.

    Haas led 4-2 in the opening set, then took an insurance break to 5-2 on a Djokovic error. The veteran went ahead 2-0 in the second, aided by a double fault from the World No. 1. Haas gave up the break to 3-3, but quickly recovered to edge the top seed at 5-4. Double match point came quickly for the German, who closed on a final forehand winner.

    “I congratulate him. He definitely made great tactics,” the World No. 1 explained. “He used the serve well and he moved around the court really well. He was better.

    “I definitely hoped and believed that I could come back. I was fighting. I was trying all the way up to the last ball. There are days where you just don't feel good on the court. Nothing really goes your way. This is one of those days. But all the credit to him for making me play this bad.”

    Djokovic, who suffered just his second loss this season, committed 30 unforced errors during the match.

    Haas is through to take on 11th seed Gilles Simon for a place in the semifinal.

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Shocker of a result

Must have been a really off day for Djokovic to lose to Haas on his favorite surface.

sanju , 3/27/13 7:17 AM

You're losing your confidence Novak. What a bad timing for you.
Monte Carlo is approaching:))
Vamos Rafa....

arwen , 3/27/13 7:22 AM

I chatted briefly with samprallic on the other Djokovic topic thread and he had a sense that this was going to happen. I didn't think that Haas would give Nole any trouble. However he played very well. But Nole was quite out of sorts. He did say in his post-match press conference that he didn't feel comfortable on the court and said that these were the coldest conditions in which he has ever played. He also made sure to give Haas credit for taking him out of his comfort zone.

Nole's forehand was awol tonight and he missed shots that he would make in his sleep. He did fight back in that second set when he broke Haas to even it up. That's when I thought he might win the second set. But Haas kept it together and didn't let up.

Nativenewyorker , 3/27/13 7:39 AM

I thought Haas had a chance. I had noticed that Djokovic had become complacent just fielding shots from the baseline, I kept asking if he was ever going to leave the baseline. Against less experienced opponents it was enough but Haas took him out of his comfort zone and he fell.

nadline , 3/27/13 7:43 AM

To be fair to Nole, he did move up to the net many times, but he timed his approaches badly and when at the net, looked lost out there. He still needs some work on his net approaches and on covering the net when he gets there.

luckystar , 3/27/13 8:24 AM

I have always enjoy watching Haas so was planning to wake up for this match but slept through my alarm clock and missed the drama. Interesting you describe Nole as being complacent. Several times this season I've had the feeling he has been labouring under the impression he can cruise without giving it his all and ended up being pushed. I imagine he went into that match believing he would get a routine win against the aging veteran.

A fairytale win for Haas.

ed251137 , 3/27/13 8:26 AM

I guess in order to have a chance to beat Nole, one has to play with varieties. Nole seems to have difficulties against players who play with varieties, players like Fed, Murray, Stan, Haas, even Delpo lately, who added some varieties into his game ( net approaches with deft touches at the net, backhand slices etc).

Rafa failed in 2011 because he was getting predictable, with some of his weapons not firing well. In 2012 Rafa salvaged some ground as he's less predictable and used more of his guile (like in that Rome final) to get his wins over Nole. Hard hitting against Nole would usually fail, like what Berdych was doing at AO and Dubai this year.

luckystar , 3/27/13 8:47 AM

That's it exactly, lucky.

nadline , 3/27/13 8:53 AM

I notice that Haas was wearing a Rafa shirt to finish off the match.

nadline , 3/27/13 8:57 AM

You're incorrigible Nadline ;-)

ed251137 , 3/27/13 9:09 AM

But it's precisely this kind of product placement on EVERY blooming story, that drives fans of OTHER players completely NUTS.
BTW this in NOT an "anti-Rafa" statement, just to clarify things.

deuce , 3/27/13 11:06 AM

What product placement do you mean, deuce?

nadline , 3/27/13 11:37 AM

She means YOURS, oh nutty one :)

Twinge , 3/27/13 11:41 AM

I obviously don't realize how powerful I am.

nadline , 3/27/13 12:01 PM

neither do I!

Twinge , 3/27/13 12:11 PM

Extraordinary win for Haas. He really did play well. However, Nole wasn't...all there, if you know what I mean.

cherylmurray , 3/27/13 12:13 PM

"Blimey that is a hell of a win for Tommy Haas, nearly 35, over Novak Djokovic in Miami. Surprise result of the year."

Don't tell that to Fedfans, for them the surprise result of the year (yes, they are still in 2012) is Rafa's defeat at the hands of Rosol.

rafaisthebest , 3/27/13 12:30 PM

Who says it doesn't get cold in Miami? I hope Fed was watching since this is what he can do when he's 34/5. OTOH Djoker will now be fresh for DC. Not that the tie was up to him : it's entirely up to Vik to win 1 match. This could be good for Djoker long term too. I thought he would handle the cold better being from Serbia. Been in MC too long I see. ;)

chr18 , 3/27/13 12:56 PM

^^^Every cloud has a silver lining.

nadline , 3/27/13 1:07 PM

This is a pretty big shock, hopefully Djokovic can go back to the proverbial drawing board and learn from this! Remember though this thread is about Djokovic and Haas!

rbennett , 3/27/13 1:07 PM

Vintage Tommy!!

He played awesome tennis out there. He never played the same shot twice, he altered speeds and highs all the time. He made Novak play really uncomfortable.

Hats off to this guy, at almost 35 he proves you can still play as if you were 22.

Emiliano55 , 3/27/13 1:16 PM

^^so nice of you to remind your fellow Fedfans.

rafaisthebest , 3/27/13 1:16 PM

My comment of 3/27/13 1:16 PM was meant for my good friend, @rbennett.....

rafaisthebest , 3/27/13 1:19 PM

ritb, we are already breaking the rules with our pen-names.

nadline , 3/27/13 1:28 PM

RITB - I was talking to Luckystar and Nadline, it's uncanny how something always turns into a Rafa discussion, it happens no matter what the actual thread is about haha.

rbennett , 3/27/13 1:30 PM

Yeah, I think this was a blesssing for Novak. He has been playing too much tennis lately, esp that he has to play Davis cup!

Has played as very goog game, he really outplayed Novak! To beat Novak in straights is no mean feat! How many points is Novak going to lose here?

Monalysa , 3/27/13 1:34 PM

how many points ATP does Novak lose then?

Shireling , 3/27/13 1:36 PM

I think is more the wind than the cold that affected Nole. I see he over hit his shots, missing the lines many times. His net game still leaves much to be desired. Against Murray at AO, he made his way to the net with success but against Haas, Haas made him looked ordinary there.

Haas is a very good player, as highly ranked as world no.2 at one stage. I think he met with an accident that derailed his career. I think the PRP treatments for his knees did help him, just like it helped Blake too, both of them now seem to have a second lease of life for their careers.

luckystar , 3/27/13 1:39 PM

Wow, this really came as a surprise to me! I did not get to see the match, in fact I fail to see most of the Miami matches due to my work commitments but I expected almost certainly a Nole/Andy final...I did foresee Ferrer to go deep in Miami and it seems now he may have even more chance...
So I understand Nole did not play well? Something really weird is happening to him...maybe he lost some of his confidence and aura after being beaten by Delpo...all the players are to a great extent a confidence players...However, Nole should be able to regroup and find the way to learn from the losses like this...
OTOH I really like Tommy! He is such a nice guy who experienced so many difficulties during his career. He definitely deserves this win and at his age! Fabulous!

Way to go Tommy!

natashao , 3/27/13 1:40 PM

rbennett, I need no one to tell me what to post, what not to post. So in a Nole thread, I can't talk about Rafa but its alright I talked about Fed, Murray, Stan and Delpo? You set the rule?.

luckystar , 3/27/13 1:45 PM

I think the last time Haas was no.2, Sampras schooled him in one of the most scintillating displays of tennis I have ever seen.

samprallica , 3/27/13 2:18 PM

When was that, curious to know.

luckystar , 3/27/13 2:23 PM

Luckystar, I was just pointing out that we should try to stay on topic and the fact that any thread turns into a Rafa discussion. I was also just telling RITB where the conversation started to talk about Rafa and who started it is all!

rbennett , 3/27/13 2:29 PM

2002 US Open 4th round I think. I'm not sure if Haas was no.2 or no.3. Either way, Rusedski had made some disparaging comments about Sampras being a step slower in the previous round and Pete produced an awesome performance.

samprallica , 3/27/13 2:30 PM

For those asking, Nole will lose 910 points.


Conspirator , 3/27/13 2:37 PM

There are only 2 types of fans.

nadline , 3/27/13 2:43 PM

2002 US Open
NY, U.S.A. Hard R16 Sampras, Pete
7-5, 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-5 Stats

Sampras had 27 aces and 11 DF. He was not broken and only faced one break point.

Haas was No. 3 and Pete was No. 17.


Conspirator , 3/27/13 2:49 PM

Pete used to have a ridiculous winners to unforced errors ratio some days. Still watching him thrills me like no other tennis player has.

samprallica , 3/27/13 2:52 PM

Pete - no.17... hmmmm who of the top 4 will go down that far before they retire?

samprallica , 3/27/13 2:56 PM

Don't think djokovic played badly at all. Haas was just too good for djokovic, slightly worrying for the world number 1 as his momentum over the last 2 years has been mostly due to his supreme confidence. Does anyone else dislike that djokovic always takes credit away from his opponents in post match pressers after losses? After delpo he said he played very badly at times and didn't take his myriad chances to take control of the match, and after this loss against Haas, he said the weather lowered his level.

willmw101 , 3/27/13 3:00 PM

Rbennett, whether the topic turns to Rafa or not, does it matter? We're comparing how players deal with Nole, with success or failure. Why so sensitive when I mentioned Rafa? Since when we can't even talk about Rafa??

luckystar , 3/27/13 3:01 PM

It was Pete, after all. He ended up winning that GS in his last vintage tennis effort.

Tommy always had a great game, incredible talent. But despite all the tragedy in his cereer (car accident by his father, serious injuries,etc) he always failed at maintain the consistency. That, and the mental part were always his weak points.

But, on the technial-wise aspect, he doesn't have any aspect to envy players like Roger Federer, for example. He has every shot in his game. Of course the technical part is just about the 20/25% in this sport.

Emiliano55 , 3/27/13 3:02 PM

Ok thanks samprallica and conspirator for the info. Sampras vs Haas then, just like Fed vs Delpo now, 31 yo vs 24 yo.

luckystar , 3/27/13 3:06 PM

Luckystar - I wouldn't say it 'matters' it just gets a bit repetitive and boring for those that aren't Rafa fans. I'm not sensitive about it either haha, it would be nice if a thread didn't always turn into a conversation about Nadal. I never said you couldn't talk about Rafa either, read what I'm actually saying!

rbennett , 3/27/13 3:12 PM

Let's not forget Tommy's win over Fed at Halle in straight sets just nine short months ago just prior to Fed returning to No. 1.

So the win over Nole was no fluke nor was it just Nole having an off night. Haas had something to do with Nole not being able to dictate.

For whatever reason, so far this is not Nole 2.0.

I was a huuuuuge fan of Sampras. Very sad when he retired but he certainly did it in style that will probably never repeated.

Also, I doubt his record of consecutive six years ending at No. 1 will ever be repeated. Connors had five consecutive year end No. 1's. Fed and JMac had four. I don't think Nole will do it for another four years.


Conspirator , 3/27/13 3:16 PM

I'm not at all surprised Haas beat the djoker. Novak has been lucky with the draws. throughout his best year 2011to present. He's played a lot of cream puffs, and very rarely did he have tough matches, due to those very low ranked players saturating his draws, which allowed him to save his energy for the QFs, SFs, and finals. He has learned how to beat those players 6-1, 6-2, etc., by not getting into long rallies, and mostly due to them not having a huge arsenal of shot selection.Those wins gave him confidence on which he was riding to beat the top 10ers who presented themselves in the latter part of the tournaments.

In 2012 to present, he's had pretty much the same kind of draws, and we would see his form dip when he met the top 10 guys, or guys or top 20 players with a variety of shots, which made it unpredictable for him to return their serves. For Novak the key is taking the ball early and slapping back returns from players he's played several times, but when he comes up against a very good opponent such as Haas, albeit out of the top 10, then Novak has a huge problem. He ten makes a lot of UEs and is unsure of his shot selection. I think that the draws are much too easy en route to the QFs for the top 4 players. however, it's how it's planned to reserve the top guys for the QFs and onwards, thus creating the hpe for the finals = more ticket sales, larger tournament profits, and more bets.

scoretracker , 3/27/13 3:38 PM

2 take-outs for me from this result:

1. It appears Novak did not deal very well with the wind factor. He also lost to Muzza at USOPEN2012 because of the windy conditions, no? I mean, that was one of the reasons......
2. This defeat is a blessing in disguise, he will arrive in Monte Carlo fresh so there will be no excuses when he dukes it out with Rafa there.........

rafaisthebest , 3/27/13 3:44 PM

How can he be fresh when he has DC to play for next week end? He'll only have one week rest before MC starts.

luckystar , 3/27/13 5:00 PM

A DC win might be all he needs to ground himself & sort his head out ;)

Twinge , 3/27/13 5:03 PM

Not about Nole on clay.

Clay is on Rafa's racquet (and knees) period.


Conspirator , 3/27/13 5:15 PM

Nole might pull out of DC.

nadline , 3/27/13 5:21 PM

@lucky, I am throwing Ricky a bone so he can say Nole was tired after he loses to Rafa at MC! You know he is going to pick Novak to win MC, right?

rafaisthebest , 3/27/13 6:49 PM


I'm not so sure about that!

Nativenewyorker , 3/27/13 7:03 PM

Just listening to BBC sports and they said Novak Djokovic will go into the French Open joint favourite with Rafa to win FO...........


rafaisthebest , 3/27/13 7:55 PM

"..............Rafa is the only one among the top 4 who is undefeated against Haas?5-0 (and in fact, 12-0 in sets). Granted, Roger is 10-3, which isn?t too shabby. Novak is 4-2; Murray, 2-1.)"


rafaisthebest , 3/27/13 8:08 PM

Novak is now 4:3 against Haas.

danica , 3/27/13 8:10 PM

Professional oddsmakers currently have Rafa as a 2:1 favourite over Nole to win the FO this year.


Conspirator , 3/27/13 8:17 PM

^^Noted, Thank you for the correction @danica.

rafaisthebest , 3/27/13 8:18 PM


I didn't know that the h2h with Nole and Haas was that close. Samprallica posted last night that he wasn't completely surprised by this result. He said that Haas has been tough for Nole in the past. I didn't know that.


Thanks for the info from the professional oddsmakers for RG. I say Rafa goes in as the favorite, period! With his record he deserves to be the favorite.

Nativenewyorker , 3/27/13 8:24 PM

@Ringham7: " Djokovic's 2 defeats doesn't change landscape yet but it gives new twist to upcoming clay court season. If Nadal & Fed come back fresh.... "

Agree. Not yet time to write Novak's obituary.......

rafaisthebest , 3/27/13 8:27 PM

Anyway, I am not shocked AT ALL that Nole lost. Haas is a bad matchup for Nole. Every time they play, it's tight. He already won twice on grass, last year in Toronto it was also a very tough match... When I saw that Haas was his next opponent I was like "uh-oh" :). All credit to him for being superior yesterday in every respect. Such speed and coverage of the court! Such shots! Amazing match for Haas. Kudos to him!

As for Nole, maybe the absence of Vajda has something to do with this slump in form. Cold weather can surely be a factor, but it was cold for Haas as well. Speaking of cold, I must repeat here what I said on the other thread - Serbia is not a cold country. It is not near Russia and is certainly not Siberia :) (must repeat that because most people I meet in the States think that Serbia is Siberia :) ). It's much warmer than Britain, or Switzerland or Germany for that matter :). I would think that Chr18 knew that since he has roots over there :).

I don't agree that Nole had easy draws in recent years.
I don't agree that he was finding excuses for his loss. I think he stated the obvious: that Tommy was better and gave honest credit where credit was due.
And then, this is why I love Nole: no one is such a good sport at the net after he loses. He applauds good points, yells "bravo", concedes points, tell his opponents to challenge calls, shakes hands with smile... and it is genuine. And instead of running from the court like most of the beaten players do, he stays to give autographs to fans. Just a great guy.

In these circumstances - GO ANDY!!! :)

danica , 3/27/13 8:30 PM

Serbia is not a cold country. It is not near Russia and is certainly not Siberia :) (must repeat that because most people I meet in the States think that Serbia is Siberia :) ).

so sorry to to inform you that only those who didn't get schooled properly think serbia is Siberia, or don't know the difference in temperatures in Europe, Asia, Africa and No and So. america. . Some on, did you go to school in the US to think that MOST people think that way?i don't know how many people you met in the states for you to come to that conclusion,but I doubt a very educated person would make such a mistake. Serbia is a lot colder in the winter than 54 degrees in Miami last night. Of that I'm certain.

scoretracker , 3/27/13 11:07 PM

Yes for sure it is unseasonably cold in Miami and Serbia can be warm and cold!

Interesting comments there scoretracker. No need to apologize! I don't think Danica was offended. Unfortunately, levels of education tend to vary widely within many countries.


Conspirator , 3/27/13 11:22 PM

Maybe Nole is experiencing what Fed was experiencing back in 2007, where he lost early at both IW/Miami? Not easy to keep winning back to back tournaments all the time. Fed still had a very good year in 2007, so maybe Nole would've a good 2013 too? Nole is winning so much lately that we keep expecting him to do the same tournament after tournament, however, there are others who are improving too, players like Delpo, Berdych and Murray, even Rafa who just came back from injury.

I would say things are getting tougher for Nole, as he has first DC to attend to, followed by a week's rest and he has to start the clay/grass season and that is four clay plus one grass tournaments. Not forgetting come the second half of the season, he has so many points to defend, a good four titles and 5800 points to defend!

luckystar , 3/27/13 11:23 PM


I think you make some good points. I don't know that these two losses will be significant or any indicator of what to expect from Nole as the tennis year progresses. Nole did win I/W and Miami back-to-back in 2011, when he was on that winning streak. But it's not easy to duplicate that feat or to always win.

Other players are stepping up. Delpo has been playing some of his best tennis since he came back from his wrist surgery. Berdy is also playing his best tennis now. Murray now has a slam win and an Olympic gold medal to give him real confidence. His game has been getting better and better and so has his mental strength.

We also can't forget Rafa's comeback, in which he played some really amazing tennis given how long he was out with his knee injury. These two losses could serve to motivate Nole. It's a reminder that there is always someone out there who can challenge you, especially when you might not expect it.

Nativenewyorker , 3/28/13 12:21 AM

Well said NNY!!!


Conspirator , 3/28/13 12:24 AM


scoretracker , 3/28/13 12:50 AM

Conspirator, 3/28/13 12:24 AM,

Thanks for your reply!

Nativenewyorker , 3/28/13 1:24 AM

You're welcome NNY and yes scoretracker I couldn't agree more!


Conspirator , 3/28/13 1:27 AM

What in the world..................a love-in between scoretracker, Conspirator and nny?

*reaches for a scotch at 08h45 in the morning*

rafaisthebest , 3/28/13 7:46 AM


You are just too cute for words. For myself let's say that there is a love-in between Conspirator and myself! If you check out the Nole charisma gap then you will see that for the other party some things never change!

No need for the scotch just yet!

Nativenewyorker , 3/28/13 8:16 AM


Sorry, it should be the Djokovic closing in on the quarterfinal topic thread! If you do some quick reading, then you will see that unfortunately it's still business as usual. If there should ever be a stop to it, then that's when you and I definitely need to break out the scotch!

Nativenewyorker , 3/28/13 8:19 AM

^^Alright then, I will keep my scotch under wraps...............for the time being! Girl can't catch a break, there I was thinking I had a perfect excuse to indulge!

rafaisthebest , 3/28/13 8:33 AM

I think if everyone sticks to tennis, wit and friendly banter (also occasionally acerbic maybe), RITB could reach for that scotch.

holdserve , 3/28/13 2:16 PM

I woke up this morning with a sore cheek and my tongue was stuck in there.


Conspirator , 3/28/13 2:51 PM

The things people will say and do to remove their blemish is not only pathetic and ludicrous, but also mind-boggling. Talk about being manipulative, WOW, we've got a real pro on this site.

scoretracker , 3/28/13 3:16 PM

Good morming thcoretrackerh!! Tho nithe to heah from you agaim!

Thorry to thee we haff different picth im the Haath Ferru match. Thould be a good ome!!!

Good luck!!!


Conspirator , 3/28/13 3:36 PM I am ENTITLED to my scotch!

rafaisthebest , 3/28/13 4:03 PM


nadline , 3/28/13 4:38 PM

#run with the deer and hunt with the hounds

nadline , 3/28/13 4:41 PM

Nadline: I'm confused. Who is that reprimand aimed at?

ed251137 , 3/28/13 4:52 PM

ed, not you and no one in particular, unless the red cap fits.

Anyone who thinks they are both a poacher and game-keeper will recognize themselves.

nadline , 3/28/13 5:14 PM


Conspirator , 3/28/13 5:15 PM

#dual personality

nadline , 3/28/13 5:25 PM

#one dimensional

Conspirator , 3/28/13 5:30 PM

ed, I'm just jealous of people who can be all things to all men and change colour to suit whatever. You can say I've got a one track mind.

nadline , 3/28/13 5:32 PM

Now you're just making me do the blushings.

However, don't forget women nadline.


Conspirator , 3/28/13 5:36 PM

holdserve, 3/28/13 2:16 PM,

The operative word there being "everyone"!

Nativenewyorker , 3/28/13 8:13 PM


Don't be so sure that nadline's comment was meant for you. There's another discussion on a Djokovic topic thread about people who try to get kudos!

It's nice to see someone making an accusation but not having the guts to back it up by naming the person to whom it is directed. It's also nice to see someone making that kind of judgement about others on this site.

Nativenewyorker , 3/28/13 8:52 PM

Only nadline knows for sure. I think she would have clarified otherwise. Perhaps not. I think I at least deserve that if I misunderstood.


Conspirator , 3/28/13 9:15 PM


You weren't on the other topic thread where it came up. Maybe there is more than one of us who is not living up to someone's standards on this site.

Nativenewyorker , 3/28/13 9:33 PM

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