Could 13 be lucky for Haas?
German Tommy Haas fought hard against Russian qualifyier Andrey Kuznetsov before advancing to the semifinals of PBZ Croatia Indoors, winning by 7:6 (6), 6:4 on Friday. Haas did not lose serve, having to face only two break points en route to his first semifinal since he won tournament in Vienna last autumn.
"Winning the first set in the tie breaker was very important for the momentum", Haas said.
Top-seeded German had 76% of first serve and rarely gave chance to his opponent. Both players served excellent in the first set and not a single game went even to deuce. Haas played better in the tie-breaker, converting the third set point, and started strong in the second, breaking Kuznetsov's serve in the opening game.
This is 13th career tournament for Haas as top seed and he has never went past the semifinals. He might break the spell on Saturday, if he wins against Daniel Evans, lucky loser from Great Britain.
"It is always dangerous when you face player who played a few matches. Well, 13 is my lucky number, tommorrow we will see if I have reached the final."
Defending champion and three-time winner Marin Cilic (pictured) won against fellow Croatian Ivan Dodig and kept his chances alive of lifting Zagreb trophy for the fourth time.
Cilic, who was best man at Dodig's wedding last year, won by 7:5, 6:4 and has now 20-4 career mark here, winning 18 out of last 19 matches in Zagreb.
"There were some ups and downs on both sides. Some great shots and some wrong decisions. But overall, it was a good match. I think I played good on key points", Cilic said.
Cilic led 5-2 in the first set before Dodig responded winning three games in a row. Another break at 6:5 was crucial for Cilic to win the first set.
In the second set it was Dodig who was up 2:1 with serve, but Cilic broke back immediately. Facing match point at 4:5 Dodig played very good volley, but at the second one Cilic hit great passing shot to seal the victory."I did not serve well today, especially when I was 2:1 up in the second set - I did not have a single first serve in that game."
For the place in the finals Cilic will have to overcome German qualifyer Bjorn Phau. It will be first semifinals for Phau since he lost to American Wayne Odesnik in Houston in 2009.