Haas-Monfils quarterfinal worthy of a final

01:12, Jan 10 2013
Heineken Open 2013
Benjamin Becker from Germany returns a shot in his match with Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.
Heineken Open 2013
Lukas Rosol on his way to losing his match with Benjamin Becker in straight sets.
Heineken Open 2013 gallery
A high gust of wind created a little havoc for the first umpire on court this morning.
Heineken Open 2013
Benjamin Becker lines up a serve on his way to winning his match with Lukas Rosol earlier today.
Heineken Open 2013
Igor Sijsling of Netherlands plays a backhand in his first round match against compatriot Matwe Middelkoop.
Heineken Open 2013
Matwe Middelkoop of Netherlands serves in his first round match against Igor Sijsling.
Heineken Open 2013
Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil plays a forehand during his first round match against David Goffin of Belgium.
David Goffin
David Goffin was spirited early in his match against Thomasz Bellucci before falling away to a straight sets loss.
Heineken Open 2013
Xavier Malisse of Belgium returns a shot in his match with Martin Klizan of Slovakia.
Heineken Open 2013
Martin Klizan of Slovakia fires a return during his match with Xavier Malisse today.
Xavier Malisse
Xavier Malisse showed great composure to claim an upset win in round one over seventh seed Martin Klizan.
Open 1
Australian Greg Jones receives medical attention during his qualifying match against Victor Hanescu of Romania on day one.
Open 2
Martin Kilzan, Slovakia, plays a backhand during his first round match against Belgian Xavier Malisse on day one.
Open 3
Greg Jones of Australia serves in his qualifying match against Victor Hanescu of Romania on day one.
Open 4
The artwork on the left leg of the Czech Republic's Lukas Rosol as he walks back to his chair during his match against Benjamin Becker of Germany on day one.
Igor Sijsling
Igor Sijsling moves into the second round after beating fellow Dutchman Robin Haase.
Greg Jones
Greg Jones powered past Jurgen Melzer in the first round of the Heineken Open, beating the sixth seed 7-6(7) 6-2.
Dan King-Turner
Dan King-Turner in action during his first round loss.
Gael Monfils
Gael Monfils entertained the fans during his win in three sets over Benjamin Becker.
Heineken Tennis Open
Colombia's Santiago Giraldo during day 3 of the 2013 ATP Heineken Tennis Open.
Heineken Open 2013
Xavier Malisse during day three of the 2013 ATP Heineken Tennis Open.
Heineken Open 2013
Olivier Rochus on day three of the Heineken Open New Zealand.
Heineken Open 2013
Heineken promotion girls at the Heineken Open.
Kohlschreiber
Philipp Kohlschreiber on his way to victory on day three of the Heineken Open.
Heineken Open 2013
Germany's Tommy Hass in training on day three.
Gael Monfils
Gael Monfils plays a shot between his legs during his straight sets win over Australian Greg Jones.
Tommy Haas
Tommy Haas was in blistering form in during his win over Igor Sijsling.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer hits a forehand during his three-set win over Lu Yen-Hsun.
Heineken Open 2013
Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany during day four of the Heineken Open New Zealand Quarter finals.
Heineken Open 2013
Belgium's Xavier Malisse in action on centre court in the quarter finals of the Heineken Open.
Heineken Open 2013
A fan watches the Heineken Open.
Querrey
Sam Querrey on day four of the Heineken Open.
Gel Monfils
Gel Monfils beat Tommy Haas to progress to the semifinals.
Heineken Open
Philipp Kohlschreiber from Gemany reacts as he wins the first semi final on day five of the Heineken Open.
Heineken Open 2013
Sam Querrey from the US stretches to return a ball from Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Heineken Open 2013
Philipp Kohlschreiber from Gemany on his way to winning the first semi final.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer celebrates his win against Gael Monfils.
Heineken Open 2013
David Ferrer beat Gael Monfils 6-1 6-2 in the second semi fianl of the Heineken Open.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer on his way to winning the Heineken Tennis Open.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer reacts to winning the Heineken Tennis Open for a record equaling forth time.

It is matches like tonight's at the Heineken Open that keeps the 34-year-old German Tommy Haas on the circuit.

Haas has earned $13 million over his playing career, so there are no financial reasons for him to keep flogging himself on tennis courts around the world, but it is match-ups like the one against French entertainer Gael Monfils in tonight's quarterfinal that keeps him going.

"These are the moments, while I'm still doing it," Haas said last night.

"It's why I am watching at certain times what I eat, training hard in the gym and being away from my family.

"I do this to test myself, to get into a big stadium in the Australian Open or play on centre court.

"When you're seven you dream of being a tennis professional player and when you've made it you're thankful and you're living your dream.

"It's not a real job, playing tennis. One day it will be over and real life will hit you. You might as well just enjoy it and have those ups and downs that come with it."

Haas beat dutchman Igor Sijsling in the second round yesterday while Monfils accounted for Australian Greg Jones.

Their match-up tonight should be a real thriller and is worthy of being a final. They have played each other twice before and shared the wins.

"He is a great player, a former top-10 player," Haas said of Monfils.

"He had a rough year last year with injuries and had some time away from the game, so I can feel how he's coming back now.

"He is eager to prove himself and get back into the top 10, but with every match he plays he is probably happy to be back out there and enjoying it.

"For me it's the same, I am happy playing at this level. We are both going to go out there and try to find our games, and it usually comes down to who's going to be better under the pressure, who plays the bigger points better.

"I know he moves well and can keep the ball in play quite some time, but also, he has a lot of firepower, so you don't know when he's going to unleash a forehand or backhand.

"He can serve well too, so I am going to have to be sharp at my end with everything, focus on being aggressive when I have the chance, and play my game."

Monfils is one of the great players to watch in men's tennis and he will probably be the crowd's favourite in Auckland tonight.

Haas says he likes to see entertaining players when he's watching from the stands but doesn't really take notice on court.

"When I am a spectator I like the fact that you see some emotions," he said.

"But when I am on the court I never look over to the other side and see what they're doing, because I am so focused on what I'm doing.

"But you do try to sometimes get players frustrated and get them to a point where they're thinking too much.

"Also you can play a certain game where they don't know if you're going to be aggressive, keep the ball in play or come into the net.

"These are the sorts of things that sometimes rattle your opponent and get them thinking.

"Hopefully I get a few moments where he'll panic a bit."

Meanwhile in the evening matches yesterday Spanish top seed David Ferrer started his defence of this title by beating Lu Yen-Hsun from Taiwan 6-4 2-6 6-3, and in the final match the New Zealand doubles duo of Rubin Statham and Artem Sitak went down to Johan Brunstrom from Sweden and Denmark's Frederik Nielsen 6-3 6-2.

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Gael Monfils and Tommy Haas
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Gael Monfils and Tommy Haas meet tonight in a Heineken Open quarterfinal worthy of a final or a grand slam quarterfinal.
Gael Monfils and Tommy Haas
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Gael Monfils and Tommy Haas meet tonight in a Heineken Open quarterfinal worthy of a final or a grand slam quarterfinal.

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