Haas vs Zverev 16.06.17
Mercedes Cup, Stuttgart, Germany, Grass Courts, Mens ATP Tour
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Today we are going to return to the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, and preview the all German Quarter Final match between world number 302, Tommy Haas and world number 31, Mischa Zverev.
These two have met once before, all the way back in 2009 on the grass courts of Halle, Germany, Haas was the victor on that occasion, winning 7-6 6-2. Both play well on the grass, are good movers, and will have equal support from the home crowd today, so it should be a great watch.
Mercedes Cup Results So Far…
Haas beat the the Frenchman, Pierre-Hugues Herbert in Round 1, having won the first set 6-3, he dropped the second 4-6 only to bounce back and take the decider 7-5. It was a high-quality match, with both players displaying some textbook grass court play throughout, with he veteran German just about having the edge in the end. In Round 2 Haas matched up against Roger Federer, it was the Swiss first match back on Tour after skipping the entire clay court season, and it started well for him as he took the first set 6-2, Haas then rallied from a break down in the second to take a tiebreak 8-6 and force a decider. It was the German who drew first blood, breaking Federer in the fifth game, and after saving four break points of his own in the following game Haas held his nerve to win through 6-4.
Zverev is yet to drop a set this week and has certainly had a more comfortable passage through to today’s Quarter Final. In Round 1 he defeated Malek Jaziri 6-3 6-1, and then brushed aside the stubborn young German, Yannick Hanfmann 7-6 6-2 in Round 2. Zverev’s been in great form this week, with his tricky groundstrokes and solid serve and volley game really causing his opponents problems.
Haas so far this week has won 66% of his service points and held serve 87% of the time. These compare to his all time grass court mean numbers of 69% service points won and 88% service hold. Haas has actually served well this week, in fact he only dropped serve once in the final two sets against Federer and just once in the entire match against Herbert. If he can keep this consistency up today I can’t see Zverev having too many opportunities to break.
Zverev so far this week has won 74% of his service points and held serve 94% of the time. These compare to his all time grass court mean numbers of 65% service points won and 79% service hold. Zverev’s numbers this week are very reflective of the return of serve ability (or lack of) from his opponents. The German’s lefty serve is an underrated shot though, and will be plenty tricky for Haas to return today, especially given the fact that he will be serve-volleying a majority of the time.
Haas so far this week has won 32% of his return points, 67% of his break point chances and his opponent held serve 87% of the time. These compare to his all time grass court mean numbers of 34% return points won, 36% break points won and 83% opponent hold. Haas will need to improve on these numbers if he is going to really look to impose on the Zverev serve. He will also need to keep that break point conversion % high, I don’t see him getting too many opportunities to break today, so he will need to really make them count if/when they arise.
Zverev so far this week has won 46% of his return points, 58% of his break point chances and his opponent held serve 62% of the time. These compare to his all time grass court mean numbers of 37% return points won, 36% break points won and 80% opponent hold. Zverev returns serve well on grass, he blocks the ball back off both wings, and can give himself chances to break today, especially if Haas first serve % doesn’t remain high.
Haas is the more aggressive off the ground, hitting the ball flat off both wings. Zverev hits with differing pace differing spins off both wings, making it very difficult to get a rhythm against him. Haas will certainly hit more winners off the ground, Zverev will make fewer unforced errors due to his high-percentage game. Zverev will also be looking to get to the net at any opportunity, so look for plenty of chip and charge plays from him.
I think Zverev’s variety and consistency off the ground may well be enough to see him through today. I expect a close match though, and if Haas is hitting his serve and his passing shots well, he can most certainly win. Three sets wouldn’t surprise me.
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