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Gerry Weber Open: Federer and Haas taste defeat in doubles

HALLE, GERMANY - JUNE 10: (L-R) Roger Federer of Switzerland, Tommy Haas of Germany, Jurgen Melzer of Austria and Philipp Petzschner of Germany shake hands after their first round doubles match during day one of the Gerry Weber Open at Gerry Weber Stadium

HALLE, GERMANY – JUNE 10: (L-R) Roger Federer of Switzerland, Tommy Haas of Germany, Jurgen Melzer of Austria and Philipp Petzschner of Germany shake hands after their first round doubles match during day one of the Gerry Weber Open at Gerry Weber Stadium

It might have been their first time together, but these men combined the pedigree of a BMW engine with the elegance of a Chopin masterpiece. None of that mattered though as Tommy Haas and Roger Federer succumbed to a narrow 6-7(3), 4-6 defeat at the hands of Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner. The marquee pair, cheered lustily by eager fans, failed to translate their chances. and their seasoned doubles opponents sailed through in straight sets after an entertaining 69 minute encounter.

Federer and Haas got off to a crisp start, breaking serve on their second opportunity in the first game. Both players held serve to take a comfortable 3-1 lead. The set turned in the next game when the German-Swiss duo squandered three break opportunities and Melzer-Petzschner held serve to remain within touch at 2-3.

The difficult game emboldened the spirit of Melzer-Petzschner, who returned well in the next game to break back and draw even at 3-3. With the contest on an even keel, the second-seeded duo had an opportunity to seal the set in the tenth game, but Federer-Haas survived to stay in the set at 5-5. In the ensuing tie-break, the vital mini-break fell Melzer-Petzschner’s way to help them take a 4-2 lead. They won three of the next four points to bag the first set in 39 minutes.

The battle intensified after the first set ended as Federer-Haas sought a way back into the contest. The pair had three opportunities to break, but yet again the opportunities went begging as Melzer-Petzschner combined effectively at the net to thwart them. The decisive break came in the seventh game, when the second seeds broke Haas at 15-40.

Melzer-Petzschner coasted to victory from that point, holding serve twice in a row to bring the curtains down on Federer and Haas. The two finalists from last year will now focus their energies on their singles campaign. Federer awaits the winner between Cedrik-Marcel Stebe and Jimmy Wang in a second round match scheduled for Wednesday. Haas has a tougher outing in prospect, having to take on the winner of the match between Marcos Baghdatis and Ernests Gulbis.

“It was the first time we ever played together. We are two dinosaurs,” said Federer, poking fun at himself and Haas. “We’re hanging in there. It was good fun and I thank him for playing. Unfortunately it ended in the first round but I was happy to play with Tommy.”

“It’s incredible – we’ve known each other for so long and only play doubles together today for the first time,” said Haas. “Unfortunately, we didn’t take our chances, but we were up against a strong pairing who already know how to play doubles.”

In another interesting doubles encounter, the first-time combination of Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic ousted the defending champions and top-seeded duo of Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer 7-6(4), 6-7(7), 3-10 in a tense one hour, 42 minute match.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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