Tennis: Haas wins Mercedes-Benz cup

19th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

19 July 2004LOS ANGELES - Tommy Haas lifted his second title of the season as he won an all-German showdown Sunday over Nicolas Kiefer 7- 6 (8-6), 6-4, and both men jokingly wondered why there was no car among the winnings at the 380,000-dollar Mercedes-Benz Cup.

19 July 2004

LOS ANGELES - Tommy Haas lifted his second title of the season as he won an all-German showdown Sunday over Nicolas Kiefer 7- 6 (8-6), 6-4, and both men jokingly wondered why there was no car among the winnings at the 380,000-dollar Mercedes-Benz Cup.

By a coincidence of the ATP calendar, the Mercedes Cup was also played this week in Stuttgart, headquarters of the worldwide auto giant.

By tradition, the Stuttgart winner - on Sunday it was Argentine Guillermo Coria - receives a sleek Mercedes 200 SLK cabriolet along with prize money of EUR 104,500.

Perhaps only half-joking, both winner Haas and runner-up Kiefer wondered if the Los Angeles winner of the namesake event didn't deserve a car also.

"I was wondering about the car," smiled Haas at the trophy presentation ceremony attended by an official from the sponsor. "We're pretty good players as well, maybe the winner deserves one."

Kiefer also joined in the good-natured chorus as he received the runner-up cheque.

Victory in the first all-German final on the ATP in a decade marked the second title of the season for former world number 2 Haas, who also beat Andy Roddick in Houston in April.

Haas won his seventh career title during a week in which he upset top seed Andre Agassi in the quarters.

"It could have gone either way," the winner said of the closely-fought battle on cement in scorching summer temperatures at UCLA. "It was tough, but one of us had to lose it.

"It feels really great to win a second title, I hope I can keep playing like this in the future and get my ranking back up (from a current number 91)."

The 32nd-ranked Kiefer is now winless in three American finals this season. He also lost to Swede Joachim Johansson in Memphis and went down to Vince Spadea in Scottsdale. He lifted the last of his six titles in 2000.

"I couldn't close it out in the first set," admitted the disappointed German, who lost an early break as well as a second- chance 5-1 lead in the tie-breaker. "I really want so badly to win an event in the US, I hope I can do it next time."

Haas levelled his record against his Olympic teammate at 2-2 as he took victory with a tie-break fight-back from 1-5 down and a break in the third game of the second which stood until the end.

DPA

Subject: German news

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