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Saturday, June 27, 2009
Haas advocates 5th-set tiebreak


LONDON -- Germany's Tommy Haas took a swipe at Wimbledon's policy of not playing a tiebreak in the fifth set after he had to battle for two days to secure a place in the fourth round of the grass-court championships.

The 24th seed saved two match points on Friday when the umpire suspended play on a gloomy Court 1 at 9:33 p.m. local time.

That left Haas stranded at 6-6 in the fifth set, and he had to return Saturday to complete another six games for a 7-5, 7-5, 1-6, 6-7 (3),10-8 win over Croatia's Marin Cilic.

"It has never happened to me that we stopped playing at 6-all in the fifth," said Haas, who will face Russia's Igor Andreev in the fourth round next week. "We should have a tiebreak at 6-all in the fifth like in the U.S. Open. All the Grand Slams should have this, that's my personal opinion.

"It was getting really dark out there [on Friday]. When he had two match points at 5-6, I was like, 'Great, maybe he's going to finish me off right before we're supposed to stop due to darkness.'

"Then I played some really good points to come back to 6-all. "Maybe they can just make some magic lights happen when you're that close to finishing a match so we can just finish it at least."

Haas, 31, is confident of finally reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals on his 11th attempt. He has won eight matches in a row on grass following his success at the warm-up tournament in Halle.

"Winning a title again in Halle, Germany, is obviously a dream come true for me in some ways, to do it on home turf," Haas said. "Good thing is day off tomorrow. I'll relax a little bit and get ready for my next match."