Lawn Tennis Magazine reports from onsite in Memphs.

2006 Regions Morgan Keegan and Cellular South Cup

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Haas Crushes Tired Benneteau
By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Correspondent
February 25, 2006 6:01pm CST USA

Saturday in Memphis at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, Tommy Haas of Germany defeated Julien Benneteau of France 6-3, 6-1 in 55 minutes in the semifinals. In Sunday's final, Haas takes on Robin Soderling of Sweden who defeated Kristof Vliegen of Belgium 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(7-5).

In set one Haas broke serve first at 3-2 with a Benneteau drop backhand volley error into the net on breakpoint. A 122 miles per hour ace down the tee from Haas sealed set one 6-3 after only thirty minutes.

Haas broke serve again in the first game of the second set before going ahead 5-1 in set two behind blistering serves and a barrage of powerful forehands and backhands. Serving to stay in the match, Benneteau was stunned by three crosscourt forehand winners in a row from Haas. The Frenchman managed to get back to deuce only to hit a final forehand long to end the match after fifty-five minutes 6-3, 6-1.

After the match Benneteau admitted to being tired Saturday after playing six matches in eight days including his qualifing matches. But he refused to use the match scheduling as an excuse. "For me it was tough to play against him. He played very good with his forehand and his backhand. He didn't make a lot of mistakes. He served very well. Against this type of player if you can stay close with the score it's okay. But once he's leading, for him it's easier to play. I did my best. Certainly I was a little bit tired from my previous matches, but the fact is he was very strong. He was too good for me today."

Haas called his semifinal play unbelievable. "It was a totally different game than playing against Tursunov. I think Julien served very well at the beginning of the match. From the baseline he was throwing up some higher balls and trying to move the ball around, but I felt like I had more time to play my game. Once I really started to dictate him and play well, I got on a roll there and play some flawless tennis. Anytime I saw an opening I just went for it. Ninety-five percent of the time I think I made the shots, and I was serving well myself and winning the big points. I played an unbelievable match today."

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This Week On Tour:
Regions Morgan Keegan and Cellular South Cup
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
February 17-26, 2006
Web: rmkchampionships.com

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