Read & Watch: Haase Stuns Zverev In Cincinnati
Haase converted six of seven break points to defeat Zverev for the second time after two hours and 25 minutes. The 31-year-old reached the Rogers Cup quarter-finals last week without dropping a set, defeating Kei Nishikori, Mikhail Youzhny and Denis Shapovalov before a straight-sets loss to Karen Khachanov.
The Dutchman improves to 23-23 this season and 7-26 against Top 10 opponents. Haase also levels his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Zverev at 2-2, with both his two most recent Top 10 victories coming against the German.
"Physically, mentally, and game-wise I was there [in my past two matches against Zverev]. We have to be a little bit lucky, as well, against these top guys. Nowadays against Top 10, 20 and maybe Top 50 players you have to be a little bit lucky," said Haase.
"But I think I played well. Today my returns were really, really good. I think the first serve he hit at me was 136mph and I just hit it right back. I was good from my side."
Zverev, competing for the first time since failing to convert two match points against eventual finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Rogers Cup, is still yet to record a main-draw win in Cincinnati (0-4). The World No. 4 has lost all four matches in three sets.
After trading breaks early in the set, Zverev took a one-set lead with a clinical performance in the 12th game. The German applied considerable pressure with deep returns, extracting errors and finishing points with aggression on his forehand side to break to love.
As was the case in the first set, Haase started quickly with an immediate break before doubling his advantage two games later. Despite recovering one of the breaks, Zverev was powerless to stop Haase levelling the match. The Dutchman held confidently to love, in the tenth game, as Zverev misfired his forehand beyond the baseline.
After falling behind an early break, once again, in the decider, a series of aggressive backhands from Zverev levelled the score at 4-4. But Haase would not be denied, using great variety en route to another break in the 11th game before serving out the match on his second match point.
"At a certain moment I came into a flow and I kept it," said Haase. "Although, of course, in the third set it really could have gone either way. He had so many break points already in the beginning of the set, but I kept playing, I did my thing, and in the end it worked out."
The World No. 7, who beat Andy Murray in the championship match two years ago, withstood 16 aces and won 82 per cent of first-serve points to advance to the third round. Cilic recorded his seventh consecutive victory at the Ohio-based event after two hours and 17 minutes, improving his overall record in Cincinnati to 14-7. The Fever-Tree Championships winner will meet Karen Khachanov in the third round.
Powerful Russian No. 1 Khachanov claimed his 30th match win of the season with a 7-5, 6-4 win over the final American left in the tournament, Sam Querrey. Continuing the form that saw him reach the semi-finals at last week's Rogers Cup in Toronto, the 22-year-old, who is already at a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 27, saved all four break points he faced.
Milos Raonic also advanced, firing 20 aces and winning 33 of 34 first-serve points to overpower lucky loser Malek Jaziri 6-3, 7-5. The Canadian, who reached the semi-finals in 2014 and 2016, improved to 12-5 at the event after 74 minutes, setting an all-Canadian clash against Denis Shapovalov. The Next Gen ATP Finals contender defeated Kyle Edmund 6-4, 7-5 on Tuesday.
Did You Know?
Cilic has reached the quarter-finals or better in each of his three most recent ATP World Tour Masters 1000 appearances. The World No. 7 owns a 10-5 record this season at the level.