It’s been all one-way traffic in the (1) Juan Martin del Potro/(3) Tommy Haas head-to-head so will another del Potro beatdown be on display Saturday night in Washington D.C.?
Haas defeated Bulgarian (11) Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(5) 7-5(3) during the third Citi Open Quarterfinal, despite not playing his best tennis. Actually, Tommy was far from the tennis he is capable of, but a shaky Dimitrov didn’t play the big points as well.
Both players had a lot more winners than unforced errors, not seeming to mind long rallies, which was a little similar to Juan Martin’s matchup with South African (7) Kevin Anderson. The Argentine blew by Anderson 7-6(0) 6-3, winning 14 straight points spanning the first and second frame. Del Potro was both methodical and devastating, cashing in on his chances.
Juan Martin broke Kevin his first service game of the second set and won all three points on the South African’s serve during the tiebreak. The Argentine played tremendous defense and as always when he’s on, hit deep penetrating forehands into the center of the court, keeping Anderson back on his heels.
The German was more patient, beating Grigor and if he’s to find his first victory over del Potro, he will need to dictate play more from the baseline and even sneak in to the net at times. Another strategy Haas may want to employ is to bring the gigantic Juan Martin into the net. Difficult to lob, Tommy will have to hit blasting passing shots outside the reach of the Argentine who is a solid volleyer. Keeping those shots low will be incredibily important.
However, just because the German knows he has to employ certain tactics, knowing and actually doing are two different things. Haas was crushed 6-2 6-1 by del Potro in 2008 in D.C. by the opposite score line in Indian Wells earlier this year. Tommy was also thumped 6-2 6-4 and 7-5 6-2 on hard court in Vienna and Cincinnati. More of the same seems likely.