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Tommy Haas reaches quarterfinals of Brazil Open

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 26, 2014 at 6:45 pm •  Published: February 26, 2014

SAO PAULO (AP) — Top-seeded Tommy Haas defeated qualifier Potito Starace 7-6 (2), 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the clay-court Brazil Open on Wednesday.

The 12th-ranked Haas served well throughout the match at the Ibirapuera arena, allowing only one break point to the 152nd-ranked Italian.

Both players held serve until the first-set tiebreak, when Haas stepped up his game to easily clinch the set. The German then broke Starace's serve two times in a row late in the second set to close out the match in 1 hour, 30 minutes.

"It's my first match ever here, the conditions are tough, the ball flies pretty hard," the 35-year-old Haas said. "My opponent played through qualifying and won his first round-match. He has a lot of kick on his serve so I was trying to get some rhythm. I was able to hold my serve quite comfortably, which was nice. I played a pretty good tie break."

Haas will next play Argentina's Horacio Zeballos, who defeated countryman Guido Pella 6-3, 6-4.

"(He is) a very good clay-court player, also a lefty, which makes him a little bit stronger," said Haas, who had a bye into the second round. "So it's going to be tough."

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