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Top seed Haas sets up Safin showdown in LA

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:39

Top seed Tommy Haas cruised into the quarter-finals at the LA Tennis Open with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Jesse Levine.

The German in in a rich vein of form, posting 17 wins and just four losses since April, and will face Marat Safin in the quarter-finals.

The Russian, playing for the fourth time in three days, dug deep to beat Ernests Gulbis 2-6 6-3 6-4 and guarantee himself a well-earned day off.

Safin played an exhibition match against Pete Sampras on Monday before beating Robby Ginepri the following night, and also teamed with Igor Kunitsyn to win a first-round doubles match on Monday.

“It was different conditions,” the 29-year-old Safin said after advancing to his third straight Los Angeles quarterfinal. “It was during the day, so it’s completely opposite the night.

“The balls are flying much more so it’s tough to really control them and it takes some time to get used to it. I was a little bit slow at the beginning of the match.”

The win over Gulbis put the two-time Grand Slam champion into his first quarterfinal of the year.

But there was disappointment for Safin’s compatriot Dmitry Tursunov, who retired against Aussie qualifier Carsten Bell early in the second set.

Trailing 6-4 0-1, the Russian was forced to withdraw with a left ankle injury.

In Umag, top seed Nikolay Davydenko cruised past Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-2 6-2 to progress to the second round of the Croatia Open.

The Russian won last week’s German Open in Hamburg, and admitted that the hotter weather in Umag was taking some setting used to.

“When I started to run, I felt I had no power,” Davydenko said. “A couple of winners helped me, but it was tough. I would like to play a night session in the second round.”

The Russian faces Alberto Martin, who defeated Slovakian qualifier Martin Klizan 6-4 6-4.

No.6 seed Nicolas Almagro beat Marcel Granollers 6-1 6-3 in an all-Spanish affair.

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