SURPRISE: Tommy Haas, right, of Germany and Roger Federer of Switzerland present their trophies during the victory ceremony at the men's singles final of  the Halle Open ATP tennis tournament in Halle, Germany. Haas beat Federer 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 Picture: REUTERS
SURPRISE: Tommy Haas, right, of Germany and Roger Federer of Switzerland present their trophies during the victory ceremony at the men's singles final of the Halle Open ATP tennis tournament in Halle, Germany. Haas beat Federer 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 Picture: REUTERS

GERMANY's Tommy Haas defeated second seed Roger Federer 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 to win the Halle Open, an ATP grass-court tournament, yesterday.

Playing in front of his home fans, the 34-year-old added to his triumph here three years ago to take his 13th ATP title.

Swiss great Federer, the second seed, was seeking a sixth win at this Wimbledon warm-up event, having booked his seventh final ticket with a straight sets semifinal win over unseeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny.

Wildcard Haas, a former world No2 secured his place in the climax with the defeat of compatriot Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Haas said after claiming the title: "This has been one of the best weeks of my career, but I reckon I won't really appreciate what's happened until this evening.

"If someone had said to me beforehand that I was going to beat Roger Federer, probably the best player of all time, I would have thought they were mad!"

Federer was magnanimous in defeat, saying: "Tommy has performed well throughout, I'm thrilled for him." This was Haas's third win over Federer after beating his better-fancied rival at Halle in the semifinals in 2005 and 2006, against 10 defeats, the last in the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2009.

Federer broke to lead 3-1 in the opening set but proceeded to lose three successive games to find himself trailing 4-3. Haas went on to clinch the set on a winning serve in 50 minutes.

In the second set Haas broke to lead 5-4 and serve for the match, winning out when Federer put a return long.

n Croatia's Maric Cilic took the Queen's Club title controversially yesterday as Argentina's David Nalbandian was disqualified in the second set of the final for kicking an advertising board into a line judge.

Nalbandian, who won the first set 7-6 (7/3), had just lost his serve to fall 4-3 down in the second set. He reacted with a frustrated kick at the board, just in front of line judge Andrew McDougall. McDougall rolled up his trouser leg to reveal a bloody gash and seemed to remonstrate with Nalbandian. ATP supervisor Tom Barnes came onto court to speak to umpire Fergus Murphy and Nalbandian. Nalbandian was disqualified from the tournament "due to unsportsmanike behaviour".

Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova returns to grass for the first time since her Wimbledon triumph when the Czech plays as second seed at the Eastbourne ATP-WTA event, final tune-up for the All England club.

No4 Kvitova, a French Open semifinalist, won the title in 2008 at Devonshire Park on the blustery English south coast. She is joined by fellow former champions Marion Bartoli (2011), Caroline Wozniacki (2009) and 2004 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Sapa-AFP