Robin Haase from the Netherlands reached the semifinals last year in Umag. This year in the singles the first round was the end of the line for the Dutchman. He had to fight Andrey Rublev from Russia. In 2017 Rublev had to play the qualifications and entered the tournament only because of his lucky- loser-status. But a loser he wasn’t at all! He won all the rest of his matches and ended up with the winner’s trophy! This win gave his tennis career an important boost. As usual the young Russian played with great intensity. Haase didn’t had an answer to his aggressive way of playing and his massive ground strokes. It was obvious that the Dutchman couldn’t play his best tennis, although clay is his favorite surface (he won the clay-tournament of Kitzbühel twice). Normally Haase plays with great intensity as well, but this time he seemed to be despondent with his failures and had to keep the answer to Rublev’s play. It resulted in a simple win for the Russian (6-3, 6-2).
The next day in the doubles Haase saw the same opponent on the other site of the net. With his partner Philipp Oswald from Austria he had to play Rublev again. Rublev played with Andrei Vasilevski. This time it turned out to be a very close match. Haase and Oswald lost the first set (6-4) but won the second (7-5). So a super-tiebreak had to be played. Oswald and Haase were 0-4 behind in no time, but fought themselves back in the game. Nevertheless there were match points for their opponents, but luckily for for Haase and Oswald they could not benefit from this. On one of the matchpoints Haase produced an ace and that is the way we know him: fighting until the last point has been played. It payed off: 16-14 in the last set in favor of the Dutchman and the Austrian!