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March 8 - 21, 2021

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BNP Paribas Open Notebook: Thursday, March 15

Roger Federer and Tommy Haas

by BNP Paribas Open

In Celebration of Tommy

It was nine months ago that Tommy Haas, at 39, defeated Roger Federer in the second round of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart; the win marked Haas’ fourth victory all-time against perhaps the greatest player of all time, and the second against Federer on grass in as many matches.

On Thursday night, the former world No. 2 and BNP Paribas Open tournament director officially announced his retirement from the ATP World Tour.

“It was important for me as a tennis professional to come back one last time to try and make a comeback last year,” Haas said during an on-court ceremony following Federer’s quarterfinal victory over Hyeon Chung. “The time is now for me to officially retire.”

Haas reached a career-high No. 2 ranking on May 13, 2002, and finished eight seasons in the Top 20. He captured 15 singles titles throughout his career in 28 final appearances, the most recent coming in 2013 when he won at Munich and Vienna. He reached the quarterfinals or better at all four Grand Slams, advancing to the Australian Open semifinals in 1999, 2002 and 2007, and the Wimbledon semis in 2009.

In all, Haas earned 569 career wins – second-most among Germans in the Open Era, with only Hall of Famer Boris Becker having more (713). Haas also won a silver medal for Germany at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He posted a 25-13 record at Indian Wells, reaching back-to-back quarterfinals in 2007 and 2008.

“I consider myself extremely fortunate that I was able play professional tennis for a living for more than two decades,” Haas said. “The sport gave me cherished friendships, an ability to travel the world, and opportunities to create incredible memories. It also taught me a lot about what it means to face challenges, battle back, and overcome them.”

Seeing Double

The doubles final in the women’s draw is set with No. 1 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina facing off against Su-Wei Hsieh and Barbora Strycova.

Makarova and Vesnina defeated No. 4 Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in the semis, 6-4, 6-2 and Hsieh and Strycova eliminated No. 3 seed Gabriela Dabrowski and Yifan Xu, 7-6(2), 6-3.

In the men’s draw, the semifinals will pit No. 7 seed Mike and Bob Bryan against Pablo Cuevas and Horacio Zeballos on one side, while John Isner and Jack Sock will be up against the winner of the Oliver MarachMate Pavic versus Feliciano and Marc Lopez match on the other.

King of Aces

It won’t provide much consolation to Kevin Anderson, but the South African blows the field away in aces after four matches with 71. He had 16 in his three-set loss to Borna Coric on Thursday. Sam Querrey, who will play his first quarterfinal here Friday in 13 tries, is next with 45 aces in three matches.

Who’s Who?

Will Ferrell was in attendance again Thursday, watching Venus Williams’ quarterfinal followed by Roger Federer in the fourth round. Also watching in Stadium 1 were Bill Gates, Hall of Famer and 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras and tennis legend Rod Laver. A team photo with Sampras, Laver and Federer was in high demand with 45 Slam titles between them.

Tough toast

Daria Kasatkina’s favorite city and perhaps future home, she said, is Barcelona. But she reminded reporters how young she is when, after raving about Spanish food, was asked if she liked Spanish wine as well.

“I’m not 21. Yet,” Kasatkina said with a smile. “But in Europe, it doesn’t matter. … With good company, you can have a glass or two.”

Loyal Fan Club

Williams’ matriarch Oracene, and Venus and Serena’s sister Isha were among those in the family box for Venus’ quarterfinal victory over Carla Suarez Navarro, which prompted this comment from Venus in her ESPN interview after her match.

“Honestly, I don’t know why they still come,” Venus said. “With Serena and Venus singles and doubles, I don’t know how they do it. They’re angels.”





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