VIENNA (AP) — Tommy Haas won his 15th career title and second of the season by defeating Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 at the Erste Bank Open on Sunday.
The second-seeded German, won also won the event 12 years ago, maintained his slim chance of qualifying for next month's ATP finals in London. "This victory is really something special," the 12th-ranked Haas said. "You don't win tournaments too often and this year I've won in my two favorite cities."
The 35-year-old Haas had already become the oldest tournament winner of the season by taking the title in Munich in May. Haas, who improved to 15-12 in career finals, said he was "very proud" of what he achieved after recovering from hip surgery in 2010.
"If you'd seen me 3 ½ years ago ... I was really asking myself if it made sense to continue," Haas said. "I have been paying a lot of attention to my fitness and nutrition and I am always looking to improve my tennis."
Haas came back from a break down to win the opening set and appeared in control when he broke Haase again and led 1-0, 40-15 in the second set. However, Haase won that game and broke Haas again at 5-4 when the 63rd-ranked Dutchman converted his first set point with a lob.
Haase had another break to go 4-2 up in the decider but immediately dropped his serve on a double fault and failed to win a game afterward. Haas closed out the victory on his first match point when Haase sent a backhand long.
"I am disappointed as I've had my chances," said Haase, who upset top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinal. "When I broke him at 1-0 in the second set, I started to feel stronger. I believed I could turn around the match. But he played all or nothing at the end and that paid off for him."
It was Haase's second defeat in a final this year after losing in Gstaad, Switzerland, three months ago. The Dutchman won both his career titles in Austria — on clay in Kitzbuehel in 2011 and '12.