Frustrated Haas loses to Dolgopolov in soggy final
Tommy Haas went down in defeat in a rain-soaked final at the Citi Open, losing 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 6-1 to Alexandr Dolgopolov with the frustrated German upset by wet patches on a court that had been pounded by rain for nearly three hours.
Haas blew up in anger in Sunday’s third game of the final set against the Ukrainian whom he looked to have under control after winning the opening set in a tiebreaker after the lengthy rain interruption, which came as the German fourth seed led 6-5 in the first set.
Haas was upset by dead bounces, the result of water seeping through the court at the ageing facility in the US capital.
The 34-year-old, winner of the Halle title two months ago over Roger Federer on grass, had managed to win the first set but quickly lost his edge against the number 25 as he dropped serve early in the second and slid downhill from that point.
He lost serve twice in the final set, dropping to 5-1 on his 11th double-fault.
Number 36 Haas had been seeking a ninth career title in the United States. He was competing in Washington for the seventh time in his career.
Dolgopolov needed two and a quarter hours on court to earn the second trophy of his career from four finals. Both men came to the final without having lost a set all week.
Both had missed the London Olympics because of conflicts with national federations.
“I didn’t know quite how to play him before I came out, but it worked well,” Dolgopolov said.
“I needed to show my best game, attack and make winners against Tommy,” said the Ukrainian who ended with 11 aces to nine for Haas.
“It was a tight match, especially in the opening set with the weather coming in,” he said. “I had to play well in the important moments and ignore the conditions.”
Haas said he was disappointed with the loss but still content with another solid week after playing the Hamburg final last month.
“I’ve yet to win this tournament, and there are not a lot of years left for me,” said the veteran who stood second in the world a decade ago.
“I still hope that I will be back here next year to try for it again,” he said. “It was really rough conditions, waiting out the rain and then playing against a tough opponent.”
Dolgopolov improved his record to 23-15 on the season while Haas stands 23-10.