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Djokovic hopes to exact revenge on Haas

Djokovic hopes to exact revenge on Haas

Novak Djokovic gets a second chance to prove that youth can win over experience when he plays Tommy Haas in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.
Haas beat Djokovic in the final of the Gerry Weber Open this month, denying the Serb his first grass-court title. He plans to avenge that loss on Wednesday, when the youngest remaining player in the men's draw takes on the oldest.
The 20-year-old Djokovic said he still hadn't adjusted properly to grass when he played the 31-year-old Haas at Halle.
"I had some good matches and some really bad matches, ups and downs in that tournament," Djokovic said. "I was still getting used to the grass and movements, the way I should play. But here it's a different story, you know. I already played really well last two, three matches. Quite confident."
Djokovic advanced by routing Dudi of Sela of Israel 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 on Monday, after beating Julien Benneteau of France, Germany's Simon Greul and Mardy Fish of the United States in previous rounds.
Haas, meanwhile, overcame the longest match of the tournament so far in the third round, a five-set win over Marin Cilic in a 4 1/2-hour match played over two days after being suspended at dusk on Friday.
He had an easier ride Monday, beating 29th-seeded Igor Andreev of Russia 7-6 (8), 6-4, 6-4. He is trying to become the first player over 30 to win Wimbledon since Arthur Ashe in 1975.
"Age is really just a number in many ways," Haas said. "But obviously, I know that I am 31. I have a little bit more miles in my legs than maybe some other players that are younger than me. Once you're out there, I think you leave that all behind and just go out there and compete and try to win."
Haas has added a few more miles to his legs in just the last month. Before winning in Halle, he lost to eventual champion Roger Federer in another long five-set match at the French Open, after wasting a two-set lead.
"Tommy, he's certainly a great player, and he's playing really well lately, taking Roger to five sets in French Open, winning Halle, and here some marathon matches," Djokovic said. "He's very aggressive, you know. He plays serve and volley. He goes for both serves. He's going to put obviously a lot of pressure on me, so I just have to be patient and wait for the chances."
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TEMPER TANTRUM: Belarusian teenager Victoria Azarenka is promising to control her temper better after yelling at the umpire during her win over No. 10 Nadia Petrova on Monday.
The 19-year-old Azarenka, who has been touted as a future Grand Slam winner, told the umpire she was "ruining the match" after what she thought were bad line calls during the second set of her 7-6, 2-6, 6-3 victory in the fourth round.
"I'm an emotional player, and I've always been like that," Azarenka said. "Just sometimes I get a little bit upset with a few bad calls, which there clearly was today.
"I just have to keep trying to calm myself down sometimes, but you never know. It's not like sitting in the living room and watching TV. You're playing in 35 Celsius degrees, it's hot, you're playing a close match, so it's tough. It's very easy to talk about how people react or whatever."
The eighth-seeded Azarenka, who lives and trains in Scottsdale, Arizona, will also have to cut back on the 10 double-faults she had Monday if she wants to beat two-time champion Serena Williams in the quarterfinals.
But she doesn't want to remain too calm on the court, saying she sometimes plays better when she's angry.
"As long as I don't really go crazy with my emotions," she said. "I'm always pumped up."
Azarenka said she had not apologized to the officials after the match.
"I actually felt bad because I reacted pretty bad for that," she said. "But as I said, sometimes it's really tough to control your emotions when the match is really tight, and some bad call comes up. ... I just really have to learn how to do it, and hopefully next time I'll do it."
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FANATIC FANS: Lleyton Hewitt loves the Fanatics.
The group of yellow-clad Australian fans have been a mainstay at Hewitt's matches for years, and are out in force at Wimbledon _ providing by far the loudest cheers of any supporters at the tournament.
"They've been fantastic. I draw a lot of emotion and energy from those guys out there," Hewitt said Monday after rallying from two sets down to beat Radek Stepanek for a spot in the quarterfinals. "Especially in today's match when you've got to dig deep, try to find a way out of it, you know they're going to be there for the long haul."
The fans have definitely lived up to their nickname so far, with the umpires having to ask them to quiet down on several occasions.
Hewitt doesn't see it as having an unfair advantage, however.
"I think they've been great," the 2002 champion said. "It's been a good atmosphere. Yeah, for an opponent I'm sure they're not thrilled about it. ... But then again, they're not in their face either."
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AP Sports Writer Mattias Karen contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-05-12 16:49 GMT+08:00