AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS: Roger Federer beat Robin Haase emphatically 61 64 64 to put Switzerland 3-1 up against Netherlands and secure his country’s place in next year’s World Group of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas.
Any Dutch hopes that Haase might be able to build on Saturday’s impressive doubles victory over Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka appeared to be dashed from the get go. Federer broke the Haase serve at the first opportunity and went up 3-0 in a matter of minutes. A completely one-sided affair it was not; Haase had a break point in the third game and three consecutive break points at 4-1, only to see Federer blasting five big first serves to go 5-1 up, then taking the set 61.
“The first set actually on the score looks the easiest but could have been one of the tougher ones”, Federer said. “The result doesn’t always show how tough it was. But I was in control most of the time.”
The third game of the second set saw Federer breaking Haase’s serve. The Dutchman got two chances to break back immediately, but again Federer's serve got him out of jail. And that seemed to be that. From that point, the home crowd seemed content enjoying the silky skills of the world No. 1, with a brilliant half volley crosscourt dink to go up 4-2 standing out in particular – cue several oohs and aahs. Federer held onto the break to take the second set 64.
A slight lapse of concentration gifted Haase a breakpoint early in the third - but once again, Federer came to his own rescue with a monster second serve that drew a Haase error. Federer then broke Haase's serve in the fifth game and cruised to a comfortable victory.
Haase said he hadn’t played his best tennis, which was necessary if he was to have any chance at all in his first match against Federer.
So what was it like playing him? “Incredibly difficult. It’s the spin and speed he puts on the ball that stand out. I can hit a ball ten centimetres from his baseline and he gets it back deep into my court, with no trouble at all. When he hits the ball ten centimetres from my baseline, it’s a totally different shot and I’m barely able to keep the ball in play."
“It’s a joy to watch, really. Unless it’s you on the court.”
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Roger Federer (SUI) - 16/09/2012
Robin Haase (NED) - 16/09/2012
Captain Jan Siemerink (NED) - 16/09/12
Captain Severin Luthi (SUI) - 16/09/12