• Familiar foes Haas and Gulbis meet again in Halle

    6/13/13 1:35 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Familiar foes Haas and Gulbis meet again in Halle A quarterfinal spot will be at stake when Tommy Haas goes up against Ernests Gulbis on Thursday in Halle. They have already faced each other twice this year.

    Tommy Haas and Ernests Gulbis will be squaring off for the fifth time in their careers and for the third time this season when they collide in round two of the Gerry Weber Open on Thursday evening.

    The head-to-head series stands at 2-2, including 1-1 in 2013. Gulbis prevailed 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2) en route to the Delray Beach title before Haas scored some revenge with a 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1 victory on the clay courts of Munich, also on his way to the title. All four of their previous encounters have gone the maximum distance, including at last year's U.S. Open where Gulbis stormed back from two sets and a break down in the third to win 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3.

    Just as he did in Munich, Haas once again has home-court advantage this time around. The German has surged back up to No. 11 in the world thanks to an awesome 2012 campaign and a stellar 25-10 record this season. Haas earned an opening-round bye this week as Halle's third seed.

    Similarly, Gulbis is emerging from several years of disappointment thanks to a recent spring in his step. The 38th-ranked Latvian improved to 21-8 at the ATP level in 2013 with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 triumph over Marcos Baghdatis on Tuesday. In addition to his Delray Beach trophy, highlights for Gulbis this season include a fourth-round finish in Indian Wells and two competitive three-set losses to Rafael Nadal (in Delray Beach and again in Rome).

    Gulbis is a slight underdog based on his opponent's inspired play of late and due to the fact that Haas will have the crowd firmly in his corner. Even though the former world No. 21 has generally fared better on clay and hard courts, he can be dangerous on grass with a huge serve and flat, powerful groundstrokes. At the same time, Haas is a two-time champion of this event and a former Wimbledon semifinalist (2009).

    Haas in three entertaining sets is the pick.

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I hope this lives up to the expectations and that the best player wins...errr, or the worst player... or whatever

Shireling , 6/13/13 4:57 PM

This is the one I want to see.

Nativenewyorker , 6/13/13 6:17 PM

Great match. Good to some real imaginative and aggressive tennis getting rewarded and not endless ball-fetching on the clay. Hope Haas and Federer make it to the dream match-up in the semis. They played some entertaining tennis in their doubles match.

Fedkovic23 , 6/13/13 10:04 PM

I like Gulbis!

scoot , 6/13/13 10:23 PM

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