HEAD racquet rebel Robin Haase won the first career title on the ATP World Tour and claimed the first for the Netherlands in seven years with his 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 victory over Albert Montanes at the Bet-At-Home Cup in Kitzbühel. Haase, playing with a YouTek Prestige Mid, is the first from his nation to lift a trophy on the ATP since former French Open finalist Martin Verkerk won at home in Amersfoort in 2004.
"It’s an amazing feeling. I’m really happy that I won," said Haase, who has come through several seasons of injury setbacks. "It was one of the goals this year to make it into a semi-final or final - and maybe win it. I was close a few times when I played good but actually lost to good players. To win this match and beat good players this week was really great."
Haase made his title breakthrough during a week when he put out second seed Feliciano Lopez and No. 6 Andreas Seppi in a heavy-duty Thursday. Haase credited his serve with seeing him through the best week of his career. "I served well from the beginning of the week. I attacked with my forehand and I defended really, really well. Haase won't stop with his title, setting his sights higher. "I want to win another one or reach another final. But I won't say that I immediately want to reach the Top 30 (current ranking: 44). Step-by-step I’m improving, this is a big step for me."