DUESSELDORF (Germany), May 18: Tommy Haas helped to keep Germany in the hunt for a place in the World Team Cup final as they beat Sweden 2-1 on Wednesday. The German number one beat Sweden’s Joachim Johansson 6-0 3-6 6-3 before joining forces with Alexander Waske for a 6-4 6-4 doubles win over Jonas Bjorkman and Johansson to give a jubilant host nation the decisive point.
Their showdown with Spain on Friday will decide the finalist from the Blue Group. The Spaniards also chalked up their second series victory of the tournament with a 2-1 win over a second-string United States team.
Thomas Johansson had earlier kept Sweden’s slim chances of reaching the final alive with a defiant 6-4 6-2 win over Nicolas Kiefer, which left the countries level at 1-1 heading into the doubles rubber.
Joachim Johansson missed Monday’s 2-1 defeat by Spain with a hamstring strain and was caught flat-footed during Wednesday’s opening singles encounter as Haas stormed through the first set without dropping a game.
Although the Swede eventually dug his heels in at the Rochusclub’s centre court to make a comeback in the second set, Haas made the most of the home support to clinch victory.
Germany, who beat the United States on the opening day of the eight-nation tournament, could have sealed Sweden’s fate had Kiefer won.
Instead, former Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson showed his resilience and silenced the partisan crowd with an efficient performance against Kiefer.
The cheering fans were back on their feet, though, when Waske’s backhand shot hurtled past the outstretched rackets of the Swedish doubles pair to seal the 2-1 result.
Germany 2 Sweden 1
Singles: Tommy Haas (GER) bt Joachim Johansson (SWE) 6-0, 3-6, 6-3; Thomas Johansson (SWE) bt Nicolas Kiefer (GER) 6-4, 6-2
Doubles: Tommy Haas/Alexander Waske (GER) bt Jonas Bjorkman/Joachim Johansson (SWE) 6-4, 6-4
Spain 2 United States 1
Singles: Tommy Robredo (ESP) bt Vincent Spadea (USA) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3; David Ferrer (ESP) bt Jeff Morrison (USA) 6-4, 7-6 (9/7)
Doubles: Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) bt Alex Lopez Moron/Santiago Ventura (ESP) 6-2, 6-3.—Agencies