French Open: Tommy Haas wastes 12 match points but still beats John Isner
John Isner was denied an incredible victory as Tommy Haas edged a thrilling five-set encounter at the French Open.
Last Updated: 02/06/13 11:50am
Marathon man Isner saved 12 match points and came from two sets down to force a taxing fifth set, but it was the veteran German who eventually came through 7-5 7-6 4-6 6-7 10-8.
The 35-year-old Haas looked to be in cruise control as he took the opening two sets against the lanky American, who had needed five sets to beat Ryan Harrison on Friday and looked to be feeling the effects of that match.
Isner found reserves and pulled a set back thanks to a break of the Haas serve, but that was nothing in terms of the entertainment the fourth set provided.
The 12th game of the fourth set will go down in memory, much as Isner's three-day Wimbledon epic against Nicolas Mahut did, as he saved not one but nine match points to force a tie-break.
Three more Haas match points came and went and Isner was able to take the match to a decider, in which he took advantage with a break before the German rallied again.
Isner had one match point at 5-4 but he overcooked a forehand, and with Haas breaking his serve for 9-8 the German brought up his 13th match point and finally took it to win after four hours and 37 minutes.
"I was definitely hoping it wasn't going to go like in Wimbledon with him and Mahut. I was probably going to wave the white flag before that," the 12th-seeded Haas said. "That was not going to happen to me.
"It's obviously a great match to be a part of, especially at such a big event, against somebody that is very used to those kinds of matches.
"Unfortunately, one has to lose, and I think it would have been more upsetting for me in this case after having many chances in the fourth set there."