Sunday's singles final at the 2013 ATP BMW Open in Munich will be an all-German affair, as defending tournament champion Philipp Kohlschreiber will look to knock off compatriot Tommy Haas.
A two-time titlist in Munich, the fourth-seeded Kohlschreiber can win his fifth career ATP singles championship this weekend. Meanwhile, the third-seeded Haas, who is defying his age at 35, will be aiming to win career ATP title No. 14 on Sunday afternoon.
The two Germans, who currently rank inside the ATP Top 25, have met in the past, but never before on clay.
With the stage set for this weekend's final, let's take a closer look at what fans can expect.
Kohlschreiber and Haas have met several times in the past, all thrilling back-and-forth matches.
Each has taken two matches from the other, but it was the younger Kohlschreiber who came away with the last laugh in their most recent matchup at Wimbledon last summer. The two top-ranked Germans met in the first round at the All England Club in 2012, with Kohlschreiber winning a memorable five-set match that featured three tie-breaks
Still, Haas has knows how to beat Kohlschreiber in the late stages of a tournament, having taken two Gerry Weber Open semifinal meetings from his younger foe.
Key Stat: Unforced Errors
The key statistic to keep an eye on in Sunday's final will be unforced errors. Netting forehands and going for winners that aren't there are sure-shot ways to lose a match, and whichever player is more careless or rushed on Sunday will be headed home disappointed.
In Kohlschreiber and Haas' last meeting at Wimbledon, Haas committed nearly twice as many unforced errors as his countryman, losing the key battle 48-27.
A similar performance on Sunday won't suffice.
The slower-playing clay should challenge both players this weekend, as winners won't be nearly as easy to come by. Therefore, patience will be vital for both Haas and Kohlschreiber.
Who wins on Sunday?
These two players have yet to square off on the clay surface, which should make for an intriguing final, where there is already a very little room for error.
In my eyes, the clay makes Kohlschreiber a slight favorite over Haas, as it will lead to longer rallies and make for a more physical match than those on grass. That favors the younger, fresher player.
Also, a two-time champion of this event, Kohlschreiber won't shrink from the moment on Sunday. He's played Haas as recently as last summer, and if he can keep his composure in a five-set Grand Slam match, there's no reason to believe the reigning champ will be unnerved on Sunday.
I like Kohlschreiber to squeak out a three-set win over Haas on Sunday in Munich, successfully defending his crown and adding another clay-court win to his resume.
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