Category Archives: Robin Haase

Murray Survives Five Set Challenge

Andy Murray would have been looking for a smooth transition to the third round of the US Open, instead he had to fight back from two sets down against Robin Haase to eventually win 6-7, 2-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-4.

Haase outplayed Murray in the second set but the Scot was less than impressive, winning just one point on his second serve in that set. Finally the momentum switched as Haase seemed to become increasingly disinterested in the match which allowed Murray back in. Read more »

Colourful Murray Overcomes Nerves To Win In Straight Sets

Andy Murray said he was nervous coming into his first round match at the US Open against Somdev Devvarman but it didn’t show. An unusually colourful Murray eventually topped Devvarman  7-6, 6-2, 6-3 after a tight first set.

Devvarman did a great job of compensating for his lack of height and power and stuck with Murray in the first set and forced the Scot to work hard to win the 70 minute opening set. Read more »

Robin Haase Wins First Title

Robin Haase has won his first ATP level title beating Albert Montanes 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in Kitzbuel in Austria in his first final. Haase felt the fatigue from his efforts earlier in the tournament during the final but managed to regroup to claim the title.

Haase had to beat Feliciano Lopez and Andreas Seppi in one day after rain delayed his progress. Read more »

Haas Trumps Verdasco

It was only a matter of time until Fernando Verdasco got beaten at Wimbledon. He looked less than inspired for the first half of his match against Radek Stepanek, eventually waking up and coming back to win the match in five sets. Still looking tired and uninspired Versdasco tried to challenge Robin Haase who eventually beat him  6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Read more »

Verdasco Rallies To Beat Stepanek

The first round match between Fernando Verdasco and Radek Stepanek had the potential to be a great match, an early five set match – but it almost wasn’t. The Spaniard took his time warming up and finding his way into the match but eventually walked away with a 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 9-7.

Fernando came out playing passively seemingly happy to just pock the ball back into court. He seemed to lack any intensity and seemed flustered by the breeze and as a result was broken in the opening game. Read more »

Wimbledon – What’s At Stake In Early Rounds

Given the recent form of some of the higher ranked players (Berdych I’m looking at you here) and the significant number of highly ranked fatigued (Djokovic, Federer, Nadal) and injured players (Simon, Fish) looking at the first round match ups took longer than it normally does. Recently players like Ivan Dodig, Andreas Seppi, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Janko Tipsarevic have stepped up and played some great tennis on grass and should make for an interesting Wimbledon. Read more »

>Haase Has Game, But Nadal Triumphs In Five Sets

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Rafael Nadal has been pushed to five sets over night to progress through his difficult quarter to secure a spot in the third round. Amusingly Nadal altered his Facebook status after the match saying “I told you it would be a difficult match!!!” His opponent, Robin Haase, sent down an incredible 28 aces during the match and worked Nadal around the court, producing some brilliant winners on the run, passing Nadal at the net which is no small feat

After falling behind two sets to one Nadal eventually ground Haase down and exhausted the way only Nadal can, winning 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3. In the first set Haase played at an incredible level, producing 13 aces and serving at 86% compared to just 62% for Rafa, simply blasting Nadal off the court and not allowing the Spaniard much hope of breaking in the first set. Nadal was finally broken in the last game of the first set. Nadal rebounded immediately.

Rafa broke in the first game, aided by an error from Haase and a brilliant cross court passing shot, demonstrating his incredible ability to just wipe the slate clean. Nadal seemed to get a better read on Haase’s serve, allowing him to conduct rallies and work his opponent over, breaking early, before securing a double break to take the second set 6-2.

Haase has returned to the courts recently after spending almost 18 month off trying to recover from knee surgery. The Dutch player called for the trainer to have his mid foot assessed. The treatment seemed to do the trick because when they started the third set Haase made Rafa run. Robin played with some incredible depth, forcing Nadal to play defensively.

At 2-3 Nadal was working hard to try and hold, but the scrambling skills of Haase, combined with the fact Rafa failed to put away two smashes, then pushing a volley wide, gave the Dutchman a break point chance which he converted with a violently struck forehand cross court winner. He then proceeded to consolidate with a HUGE service game, barely letting Nadal touch a ball. Suddenly Nadal was serving to stay in the third set.

Rafa was off and flying in the fourth round, heaving a backhand down the line with a loud “Ya” before thumping a forehand return winner with a screaming “Si!” and a fist pump. The devastating forehand of Nadal thumped Haase and brought up two early break points which Robin successfully defended before Nadal eventually broke.

A small slip in the third game saw Hasse grimace, grab his hip flexor and try to loosen his pelvis. Nadal responded by running his opponent. Again in the third game, this time of the final set, Haase pulled up, again with the right hip flexor, when reaching for the ball.

Nadal was on fire in the fourth and fifth set and there was no stopping him. With a double break in hand Rafa finished the match off with another love service game.

Despite the fact that five sets were played Nadal was happy with the outcome. “I’m very happy to win in five sets. Everybody prefers to win in three, but is not possible a lot of times, especially in this surface because all depends on a few points. Played probably four bad points in two sets and I lose both sets. That’s the tennis like this. But mentally I think I was perfect in the fourth and in the fifth.” Impressively the Spaniard didn’t lose a point on serve in the final set and won 23 of 29 points he played at the net, showing the importance of net play on grass. He also improved to a 13-3 lifetime record in five sets

The importance of the Wimbledon title is not lost on Nadal, who chose to practice instead of meeting the Queen. “Yeah, was disappointing for me. But, you know, the Club knows, Wimbledon Club knows that before, because I have my routines before the match. I had a very difficult match, before the match, I know going to be a very difficult match. I had to practice around 12, so was impossible for me. 

Seriously I thought the Queen was going to be in my match, and I would love to have the chance to meet her after the match. But wasn’t possible because I think the Queen left before. For me was disappointing. I was excited to meet her. But was very important match for me, too.”

When asked if there was anyone he would change his routine for he responded; “You know, I am playing in Wimbledon. Is not a joke. I love this tournament. I have a lot of respect for the Queen. I have a lot of respect for this tournament. Always was my dream play here. Today is a match, is a match day for me, no? So I have my things to do, and I try to do my best what I think is the best to win the match, no? So not in that case.”

Nadal with now face Philipp Petzschner on Saturday in the third round. Rafa leads their head to head 2-0 but has never played Petzchner on grass.

Federer may have also played five sets, but this was a very different five sets. Nadal looked sharp, showing that he had a few extra gears to rely on in times of trouble.

>Things Bleak For Blake

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Things aren’t looking too good for James Blake right now. Not only has he returned too soon after undergoing PRP therapy on knee tendinitis, berated Pam Shriver from commentating in the commentary box during his match but he’s now saying that he will be unable to beat most players in the top 100 when he’s at 100%. During his rehabilitation he has refused to take any anti-inflammatory medication – a huge issue when dealing with an injury characterized by chronic inflammation.
Blake was defeated 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 by Robin Haase.

During the match Blake complained that he could hear Pam Shriver’s commentary and then when she responded saying her must have “rabbit ears” to be able to hear her, he retaliated by saying it wasn’t his fault he could hear her (and a minor obscenity). Shriver later said she shouldn’t have contributed once she knew he could hear her. “I should never have said a word to him once I realized he could hear me. He was already down a set and a break and once I realized I could be heard, I’ve got to step back, talk quieter. That’s the only thing I regret. And I helped make what happened into an exchange. I shouldn’t have.”
Blake was not impressed with his performance. “You know, it’s almost embarrassing to go out and play a Grand Slam match like that. The knee is not great. I just took 10 weeks off. I thought that was going to do it and be the answer. The reason I wanted to take time off is I didn’t want to continue playing in pain.”
Worryingly, Blake doesn’t sound like he’s in a mental state that is likely to improve soon, if anything it sounds like he has started thinking about retirement. “I can’t beat these guys at 80%. I can’t beat a lot them at 100% on a given day. So to think that I’m gonna compete with the top level of the game at 80% is just silly” It’s a huge sentiment for a player who fought his way back after a fractured cervical spine (neck) and after the zoster virus left half of his face paralyzed. It’s a bleak time for Blake.
On PRP treatment, I have a patient with chronic tendinitis who underwent PRP on one side but not on the other and the non treated side is better, although both continue to progress slowly. Simply put, if you refuse to manage tendinitis properly right from the beginning then you will struggle to keep it at bay when you abuse your body the way tennis players do… James 10 weeks break is not enough.