HAMBURG (AFP) –
Home favourite Tommy Haas will face Juan Monaco in Sunday’s final of the Hamburg claycourt event after ousting Croatian fourth seed Marin Cilic 7-6 (9/7), 6-0 in Saturday’s semi-final.
Wildcard Haas, the world number 49, is a native of this north German port city and is hopeful of giving his fans something to celebrate by becoming the first German winner of the event since Michael Stich in 1993.
“When I was a boy, I used to come here and watch the stars play, so to have a chance of winning this tournament myself, it’s one of the finest moments of my career,” said Haas.
The 34-year-old recovered from 3-0 down in the first set to win the match in just under two hours, taking revenge on Cilic for a defeat on clay in Munich in May.
Having recovered from a long absence due to various injury problems, Sunday’s final will be Haas’ second of the season, following his victory over Roger Federer on grass in Halle last month.
Earlier on Saturday, Argentine third seed Monaco got the better of top seed Nicolas Almagro of Spain 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the first semi-final.
The Argentine will be appearing in his second consecutive final, having lost to Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic in the Stuttgart decider last weekend.
Monaco took a little over two hours to record his third victory in seven encounters with Almagro, who is ranked 10th in the world.
The 28-year-old from Buenos Aires is bidding for his third title of 2012, after previous successes at Vina del Mar in Chile and Houston, Texas.
The left-hander has won his last three meetings with Haas.