PARIS, June 5 (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic kept calm, cool and collected to subdue the challenge of 35-year-old Tommy Haas with a 6-3 7-6(5) 7-5 win in the quarter-finals of the French Open on Wednesday.
If the world number one still had nightmares about his mauling by Haas just over two months ago in Miami, he hid those fears well to set up a semi-final blockbuster with seven-times champion Rafa Nadal.
After Djokovic outplayed the German warrior in the first set, Haas went toe-to-toe with the Serbian in the second. Three times the 12th seed went ahead with a mini-break in the tiebreak but each time Djokovic fought back.
When Djokovic brought up set point by finishing off a 24-shot rally with a breathtaking crosscourt backhand winner, the damage was done and there was no way back into the set for Haas who was looking to become the oldest men’s semi-finalist in Paris since 1968.
Haas enjoyed one final hurrah in the third set, breaking the top seed when he was serving for the match at 5-4 but it was soon evident he was running on empty as he lost the next two games and the match when Djokovic whacked a backhand winner into the corner of the court. (Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Alison Wildey)