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Haas sends Wawrinka packing in Rome

Tennis

German veteran Tommy Haas issued a reminder of his claycourt skills with a third-round victory over Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka at the Rome Masters.

Haas recovered after trailing by a set and a break of serve to win 5-7 6-2 6-3 and reach the last eight at the Italian event for the first time since 2002 when he lost to Andre Agassi in the final.

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ROME, ITALY - MAY 15: Tommy Haas of Germany in action against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 5 of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2014 on May 15, 2014 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

In the women's Italian Open also being played at the Foro Italico, second seed Li Na snapped her career-long jinx against Australia's Samantha Stosur, winning 6-3 6-1 having lost their previous six meetings.

The 36-year-old Haas, who reached the French Open quarter-finals last year for the first time in his career, produced some inspirational tennis to frustrate Wawrinka.

“I just tried to focus on what I was doing well and all of a sudden it clicked,” 15th seed Haas told Sky Sports. “Once you are in a third set anything can happen.”

Third seed Wawrinka, champion in Monte Carlo this year and fancied for a strong run at the French Open later this month, became involved in a dispute with the umpire early in the second set and his form tailed off.

Haas next plays Tomas Berdych or Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals.

Also through is big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic who saw off Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 6-4.

Top men's seed and defending champion Rafa Nadal plays Mikhail Youzhny later while women's number one Serena Williams is up against Varvara Lepchenko. – Reuters

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