Haase claims maiden ATP title
Kitzbuehel - Robin Haase of the Netherlands defeated Albert Montanes of Spain 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 Saturday to win his first career ATP title at the Bet-at-Home Cup.
The 53rd-ranked Haase, playing in his first final, is the first Dutch winner of an ATP event since Martin Verkerk won in Amersfoort, Netherlands, in 2004.
Haase is the eighth player this season to become a first-time champion on the ATP tour.
"This is a super feeling," said the 24-year-old Dutchman, who won eight titles on the lower-ranked Challenger circuit. "I was hoping for a chance this season to win my first big title and I am really happy that it happened here."
Haase missed most of the 2009 season after right-knee surgery and is now certain to enter the top 50 for the first time. He had four aces and broke Montanes' serve five times.
"It's a great feeling," said Haase, who defeated seeded players Feliciano Lopez and Andreas Seppi on his way to the final. "I played well all week, was tactically and mentally strong."
The 30-year-old Montanes, who defeated top-seeded Juan Ignacio Chela in the semifinals, is now 5-5 in career finals - all of which were played on clay.
Haase saved five break points in a 10-minute opening game full of long baseline rallies. The set went with serve until Haase converted his third set point at 5-4 when Montanes sent a forehand wide.
Five consecutive breaks early in the second put Montanes 4-3 up before the Spaniard clinched it with a love game.
Haase won eight of the first nine points in the decider and added another break to go 5-0 ahead. He used a cross-court forehand on his second match point to close out the victory.