ATP Tour

Haase claims Lopez' scalp

2015-04-29 22:11
Robin Haase (File)

Estoril - Dutch underdog Robin Haase produced a superb comeback to knock out top seed Feliciano Lopez in the second round of the Estoril Open on Wednesday 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4.

French fifth seed Richard Gasquet, playing his first event in six weeks after returning from a back injury, continued his comeback with a 6-2, 6-3 defeat of compatriot Kenny de Schepper.

The 28-year-old Gasquet had been enjoying a successful season prior to his injury, winning his 11th career title in Montpellier and reaching the last eight in both Doha and Dubai.

The two-time Estoril finalist (2007, 2012) will next face Spain's Nicolas Almagro, who caused an upset as he beat Argentine fourth seed Leonardo Mayer 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, serving seven aces and breaking three times in the 89-minute win.

"I'm very happy with how I played this match," said Gasquet.

"It's always satisfying to win in straight sets.

"I'm still feeling good about my injury, it's not bothering me, I felt I played better and served better than in the first round. I'm quite satisfied.

"Almagro will be a test for me, he's one of the best on clay, very physical and playing well. We'll just have to see how I can handle him."

Haase will take on Australian seventh seed Nick Kyrgios, who beat Serb Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-3 in the first night session ever staged in the history of the tournament.

Lopez, an unorthodox Spanish serve-and-volleyer ranked 12 in the world, was motoring to what was looking like a routine straight-sets winning start when the wheels came off his game.

Haase saved two match points in the 12th game of the second set as he mounted his fightback.

He was broken twice while serving for victory in the second set, with the 101st-ranked Haase taking the set into a tiebreaker and levelling at a set each on the first of four set points.

Lopez previous superiority disappeared, and he was unable to regain the initiative and has now lost to the Dutchman in all three of their ATP meetings on clay.

Lopez was broken in the first game of the third set and was never able to close the gap on his inspired opponent, who moved into his first quarter-final since last July in Gstaad.

Haase needed just over two hours to ensure victory, with Lopez saving six of ten break points he faced.

"Tennis can be very sad sometimes," said Lopez. "There will be days when you do all the right things and you lose anyway.

"Serving twice for the match, it's not normal to lose like this. I should have closed it out, especially since I had a couple of match points.

"I played great for two sets, I was aggressive and charging the net. Unfortunately, that was not enough today.

"The match was close and I just couldn't find a way to win in the end."

Another Spanish seed joined Lopez on the sidelines, with number three Tommy Robredo withdrawing on the eve of his match on Thursday due to a left foot injury.

He was replaced in the draw by David Vega Hernandez, a lucky loser from qualifying rounds.

Results on the third day of the Estoril Open on Wednesday (x denotes seeded player).

Second round

Richard Gasquet (FRA x5) bt Kenny De Schepper (FRA) 6-2, 6-3

Nick Kyrgios (AUS x7) bt Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 6-3, 6-3                           

Nicolas Almagro (ESP) bt Leonardo Mayer (ARG x4) 7-6 (7/4), 6-2

Robin Haase (NED) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP x1) 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4

Read more on:    atp tour  |  tennis

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