Federer rallies to beat Haas, awaits Nadal - Dimitrov winner

Defending champion Roger Federer did his part to set up a potential quarter-final showdown with Rafael Nadal, as he came back to defeat German Tommy Haas 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Thursday afternoon at the Western & Southern Open. Nadal, last week Coupe Rogers champion, plays Grigor Dimitrov in the evening session.

It appeared that Federer wasn't long for the tournament after a stunningly bad start against Haas. The 35-year-old Haas needed only 31 minutes to win the first set and was up 4-2 in the second before Federer started to approach the net, hitting shots with confidence and taking control.

''You know, being down 6-1, 3-1, you don't feel like Superman out there,'' Federer said. ''You feel a bit slower, you feel a bit weaker, you feel a bit softer, whatever it is. I was trying to push myself. But at the end, as the match wore on, I felt better.

''That's always good news.''

Against Haas, Federer forced a third set after rallying from a break down in the second. He went up the decisive break, 5-3, and served out the victory after one hour and 52 minutes.

"I think I had too many of those small hiccups that kept on adding up, because overall I wasn't playing terrible. I was just missing by a margin or putting myself in a tough spot," said Federer. "Then on top of that, Tommy took advantage of it, played well when he had to... I was just hanging on, and I'm happy I did because it paid off. At the end, I'm very happy I was able to turn a match around like this.

Federer skipped Montreal last week to get ready for Cincinnati, hoping a good showing this week would get him ready for the U.S. Open.

''Every match gives me more info to tell me if I'm on the right path or not,'' he said. ''But I'm a strong believer that I am on the right path right now, and I just need to make sure that mentally I stay cool about it.

"Those are the matches I knew just kind of what I need right now," he added. "Every minute more in a match court is a good thing right now. It gives me a lot of opportunity in the next match to do better."

This 32-year-old Swiss is chasing an unprecedented sixth Cincinnati title this week.

"I saw a little bit of the Rafael Nadal match at Wimbledon, but the rest of the year for him has been unbelievable, how he came back and how successful he's played, almost always achieving finals really," said Federer. "So it's a great season for him. He's coming into this tournament clearly very confident.

"I'll be excited to see how he plays tonight. Then if I play him tomorrow, it's clearly going to be a difficult match because he comes in with a lot of confidence again."

Date: 15th August 2013, Source: ATP and AP


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