• Erste Bank Open

Haas keeps ATP Finals hopes alive

ESPN staff
October 19, 2013

Top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Dominic Thiem 6-4 3-6 7-6(3) on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the Erste Bank Open.

Tsonga will take on Robin Haase of the Netherlands for a place in Sunday's final, while second seed Tommy Haas faces Lukas Rosol in the other semi-final.

Tsonga, who won the event in 2011, missed a match point at 5-4 in the final set but converted his second chance in the tiebreaker after two hours, 15 minutes as the Austrian hit a forehand long.

"I was really poor from the baseline but I served well," said Tsonga, who had 16 aces. "I have played many matches like this so I have the experience. That made the difference. I am not in a good shape, I have to fight to win matches."

The 20-year-old Thiem, who played in only his second quarter-final, said the match was "unbelievable."

"A third-set tiebreaker means the match could have gone either way," Thiem said. "I am proud I could match a top-10 player."

Haas reached his seventh semi-final of the season by defeating Radek Stepanek 7-6(10) 6-3. The victory kept the world No.12 in the running to qualify for next month's ATP World Tour Finals in London.

"I live from match to match," said Haas, who has never before played in the season-ending event.

Haas failed to serve out the opening set at 6-5 but won the tiebreaker after saving four set points for Stepanek. He converted his only break point in the second set.

"It was mentally and physically tough," Haas said. "The tiebreaker was really great from both of us. I felt it was important to win it. If I'd lost it, I would have been very frustrated."

Haase, who won both his career titles in Austria, rallied to defeat third-seeded Fabio Fognini 6-7(4) 6-1 6-1 to advance to his fourth semi-final of the season.

Haase didn't face a break point in the entire match. Fognini had 32 baseline errors and ended the match with his second double-fault.

"I had my chances in the first set as well but lost it as he played an incredible passing shot," Haase said. "When I was 3-1 up in the decider and won five straight points from 40-0 down, I knew I wasn't going to lose this match."

Earlier, Rosol beat Ruben Bemelmans 6-3 1-6 6-3. Rosol broke the qualifier once each in the first and final sets to reach his second career semi-final, and first since winning his maiden title in Bucharest in April.

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