Roger Federer strolls into Halle semis for the 13th time

Rachel Hardy
June 26, 2017

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 warmed up for Wimbledon by winning a record ninth title at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany.

Federer wasted set points in the first as Mayer won a nine-minute eighth game, saving both chances and holding serve with a pair of aces. Federer advanced when Khachanov lifted a backhand long on match point.

To qualify for the semi final, he beat Andrey Rublev 7-6 (8), 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 16 minutes on Friday.

"I don't think that my seed of whether four or five has an influence on how successful I will be at Wimbledon", he said.

Federer triumphed in their first meeting on clay in the 2016 Italian Open with a straight set win in the round of 32 while Zverev got a win in the 2016 Halle Open semi-final.

I don't know him that well yet so it's a match where I'll most likely focus on my own game.

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Federer had a busy start to the year including the capture of his 18th Grand Slam at the Australian Open. According to odds makers, the 35-year-old Federer enters the 2017 Wimbledon as the favourite, closely followed reigning champion Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

"Roger is the best player of all time on grass, it will be a very hard match", said the young German. Zverev, who lost last year's final to compatriot Florian Mayer, will be going for his fourth title of the season on Sunday.

He has not dropped a set along his way to the finals and also defeated Zverev's older brother Mischa to make this far into the tournament.

"For the others, I think Andy (Murray) was just extremely exhausted after getting to World number 1 at the end of past year".

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.

Zverev did finally set up a break point on the Federer serve in the first game of the second set, but it passed by and Federer raced on to complete victory.

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