Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Federer advances to his 11th Halle final

The former world number one is looking for some grass court matches under his belt ahead of Wimbledon The former world number one is looking for some grass court matches under his belt ahead of Wimbledon
Damon Campbell | 26 June, 2017, 01:45

Roger Federer, chasing a ninth title at the Halle grass court event, despatched Russian Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) on Saturday to move into the final.

Roger Federer reflected on a "difficult year" after beating Alexander Zverev to win a ninth Halle title as he provided the flawless platform to build upon for Wimbledon.

The Swiss maestro arrived in Halle on the back of a disappointing first-round loss to fellow veteran Tommy Haas in Stuttgart, but was in imperious form this week and did not drop a set en route to a ninth title at the tournament.

The 35-year-old victor claimed the Halle Open title one week ahead of the Wimbledon tournament, the third Grand Slam of the season, which he has won seven times.

Mayer, 33, squandered two break points at 1-0 in the second set and paid the price as Federer broke again and never relinquished his advantage to win in just over an hour.

Federer won 26 of 28 of his first-serve points, clinching his 16th grass-court title after only 53 minutes with a backhand volley victor.

Federer will bid for his 92nd career title in what will be his 140th final against the fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev, who rallied to beat Richard Gasquet 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 for his seventh title-decider.

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"It was perhaps not always very attractive to watch, but it's good to be in the final in the second tournament after my return", the Swiss said afterwards.

"I don't really know what to say, that was fantastic", Zverev said.

The bare numbers hardly tell the tale: 6-1, 6-3 to Federer, 58 points to 33 overall, winning 79% of his service points, 52% when receiving.

Can Federer win Wimbledon again in 2017 and add to his Grand Slam haul of 18?

German Zverev, 20, beat Federer in last year's semi-final.

"I was doubting myself a little bit, I must admit, because losing (in the opening) round for the first time in 15 years on grass was always going to shake me a little bit and it did", Federer said. "It was a hard match".

Kvitova saw off Australia's Ashleigh Barty 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in only her second tournament since the start of her comeback at the French Open last month.

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