Swiss maestro Roger Federer, who suffered a first-round exit at the Stuttgart grass-court tournament, has admitted he was ‘not shocked’ by his defeat to Tommy Haas. 39-year-old Haas defeated Federer, who was playing his first match after three months, 2-6, 7-6 (10/8), 6-4 in the opening round of the tournament on Wednesday.
Haas survived 23 aces to deny Federer his 1,100th match win by claiming the 569th victory of his career. It was his sixth win of the season and the first time he had won consecutive matches since 2014 when he reached the Rome quarter-finals.
“I’m not so shocked to have lost. I knew I could lose against Tommy,” Sport24 quoted Federer as saying after the match. “He was so good at the end and if I am happy for anybody, then it’s for Tommy,” he added.
Federer, who claimed the Australian Open for his 18th major in January, suffered his second defeat of 2017 on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Haas, a former world number two but now down at 302, said he was shocked after the win. “It’s always special to play a close friend like Roger on grass, always lots of emotion,” the German said. “I saved a match point in the second set so was able to play more freely after that. I even shocked myself,” he added.
Haas became the lowest-ranked player to beat the 18-time Grand Slam champion since number 407 Bjorn Phau at Washington in 1999. Haas will next face compatriot Mischa Zverev, who defeated qualifier and fellow German Yannick Hanfmann 7-6 (7/1), 6-2 in 83 minutes.