Re: Robin Haase Cheering Thread
FLYING DUTCHMAN SAILS PAST
GROSJEAN TO TAKE CHAMPIONSHIP
(Sunrise, FL) – No. 6 seed Sebastien Grosjean and unseeded Robin Haase took center court to resume the singles final of the BMW Tennis Championship on a cool, windy Monday with a few hundred fans in attendance, after a weekend of washouts. With the venue stripped of all other entertainment, including the live band and ubiquitous “purple drink” girls, the day had the intimate feel of a club match, except for the sounds of sonic-boom shots hit by the two pros.
The score was 5-4 Haase, who was serving at 15-40 when play launched at 11:00 a.m. with a marathon groundstroke rally - 30+ hits, which Haase surrendered by hitting long. Haase couldn’t make up the deficit, and was immediately broken back to even the game score.
Throughout the match, 15-20 shot rallies were common, with both players moving well. Although Haase tried to direct the flow to the Grosjean backhand; a number of rallies ended with signature Grosjean open-stance forehands.
The Frenchman won his next service game to bring up 6-5; then broke again to win the first set 7-5. Serving first in the second, Grosjean spun a drop-shot winner at 40-5, with Haase well behind the baseline, to take that game; then he broke Haase on his first serve to go up 2-0; and consolidated the break for 3-0. Amping up the baseline rallies, the veteran Grosjean seemed more patient and composed on defense, forcing errors from his young opponent.
Haase came alive in the next game, allowing Grosjean only one point, serving well and slapping two groundie winners into the corners - a forehand, then a backhand. Serving at 3-1, Grosjean struggled to hold, fighting off three deuces and tossing in a double fault, one of his three in the match.At 4-2, Haase broke Grosjean with a blazing passing shot at 30-40 to get the match back on serve.Next game was the longest of the match, with seven deuces and three game points blown by each player before Haase served it out with a forehand blast down the line to even things up at four games all.
At 5-all, Grosjean quickly sank to 0-40 on his own errors.Next point, working with a second serve, Haase moved forward, hit a low slice and Grosjean missed the passing shot, giving one break back to the Dutchman. Haase served out the set, ending with a first-class winner as he served big, then moved in to put away the Frenchman’s weak reply.
The final set was all Haase. He opened with a love-hold, then broke Grosjean at 30-40. The Haase serve was strong and his ground-strokes solid, while Grosjean seemed to lose focus, committing a rash of unforced errors off both sides.A pivotal point came with Grosjean serving at 1-3, and 30-40. The Frenchman’s big first serve down the tee was called out, then the call was over-ruled. Awarded another first serve, he faulted; and Haase murdered the return on second-serve to win that game and break once again.
Clearly on a roll, Haase held next at love to go up 5-1. Looking up from a very deep hole, Grosjean dropped the final game at love, hitting one more forehand well long.
The 20-year-old Haase was ecstatic after his win, saying, “It’s unbelievable that I won. I came back from 7-5, 3-1, and I played better and better and I took the third set with a lot of confidence. Of course he was a break up in the second set so it was mentally tough for him. I came back [in the third] and played better and better, I served better and better so he didn’t have any break points and it was tough for him and he tried to play some fast points and he made some unforced errors.”
“It’s just like I won an ATP event,” Haase said of his accomplishment. “I mean, I played against three top fifty guys, against one who was number seventy and I played one coming back from an injury who has been number 20 in the world for sure; so it’s a lovely tournament for me.”
Grosjean is comfortably into the draw at the Sony Ericsson Masters Series, with round one scheduled for Wednesday. Meanwhile after collecting his $14,400 paycheck, Robin Haase had just about enough time to say a gracious thanks, take a few photos and sign a couple of balls before he grabbed his racquet bag and high-tailed it down to Key Biscayne – where, seeded 5th in qualies, he was scheduled to play Monday afternoon against Russian Rik De Voest.