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By Gokul Pillai
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Murray has been clinging on to top form and winning titles on the ATP tour by the bunch. With final and semi-final spots at all Grand Slams this year, Murray constantly improved and sharpened his game and nailed confident final victories by the end of the year. He had a perfect season in Asia where he managed to win three titles in Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai. He is seeded number two and above Roger Federer here at Basel as he will be hoping for a title win here too.
Haase started off well with a quarterfinal performance in Chennai and then displayed vintage form to qualify and progress to the last eight at Nice and then went on to snatch a title. He then won the title in Austria and then reached the semi-final in Winston-Salem after which he has experienced a slump in form. He will have to tweak his game to a whole new level just to push the mighty Scot to his brink and make him feel the pressure.
Both the players have met twice before and the head-to-head stands at a perfect 1-1. The last time they met was this year at the US Open where Murray had to fight out Hasse in a tough five set match. Murray can strike massive backhands and can stay in a rally with utmost consistency with cannon serves to assist him. Haase can infuse a lot of pace in his forehands and can come with sharp volleys in the match. Murray should be able to pull through to victory after a three set slugfest.
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