Re: WWW Sunrise Final: Robin Haase vs. Sebastien Grosjean *5-4 15-40
Sunrise - If 20-year-old Robin Haase of the Netherlands is going to win the BMW Tennis Championship at the Sunrise Tennis Center, it likely will derive from his sheer drive.
After today's completion of Sunday's rain-shortened final against Sebastien Grosjean, Haase must travel to Key Biscayne to play in the qualifying round of the Sony Ericsson Open. He'll have to win two matches to make the main draw of the ATP tour event. Currently, he's the No. 5 seed and is scheduled to face Rik DeVoest of South Africa.
"It will be difficult to stay pumped up all day," Haase said. "I've already competed in the doubles draw and a bunch of three-setters in singles. Now I'll have to finish up the final here and then play in a quallies match in Key Biscayne, so I know that [today] won't be the easiest day."
The long, lean Dutchman, 6 feet 3 and less than 160 pounds, will resume the final against Grosjean, 29, the tour veteran from France who now resides in Boca Raton, at 11 a.m. Haase leads Grosjean 5-4 in the first set.
Haase played a sharp return game against hard-hitting Chris Guccione of Australia to win 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinal.
Grosjean, the No. 6 seed ranked No. 51 by the ATP, defeated Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-4, 6-2 in the other semifinal.
Grosjean and Haase have had only one other meeting, with Grosjean winning 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-7 (4), 6-4 at January's Australian Open. The Sunrise final is free and open to the public.
After winning three consecutive three-set matches in the previous rounds against chip-and-charge players including No. 4 Andreas Seppi of Italy and No. 5 Janko Tipsarevic, Haase displayed versatility by beating a more powerful player in Guccione.
Guccione, 6-foot-7 and 202 pounds, defeated top seed and ATP-ranked No. 12 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in the previous round.
For Grosjean, it's a trip back to the past. This marks the first Challenger event that he's entered since he won in Cherbourg, France, when he was ranked No. 89 in February 1999. He has a career singles record of 340-229 and Haase knows how important a win would be for him.
"He has a lot of experience and did beat me last time," Haase said. "I'm down to a break point when we start [today] so it will be tough to come back. But I've put in a great effort so far and I'm looking forward to it."