Roger Federer wins Halle title for ninth time

Doug Mendoza
June 26, 2017

Top seed Roger Federer reached the Halle Open semi-finals, beating defending champion Florian Mayer 6-3 6-4 and edging closer to a ninth title at the Wimbledon tune-up event.

The Swiss ace was at his elegant best as he dispatched his German opponent in just 52 minutes at the Gerry Weber Stadion, further justifying his decision to miss the entire clay-court season to focus on his grass-court campaign. Both players have been in exceptional form this year with Federer winning his 18Grand Slam while Zverev won his first Masters 1000 title at Rome.

"I thought I was very calm out there, even in hard moments".

Playing in his 140th career final, the remarkable 35-year-old, who has won the All England Club title seven times but not since 2012, became the oldest victor of the Wimbledon warm-up tournament despite taking the entire clay-court season off.

He also beat Federer in last year's Halle semi-final, but this time he struggled to impose himself against the veteran, who dropped just nine points on his serve.

Roger Federer didn't play his best tennis this week in Halle before the final, but he was simply unbelievable against Alexander Zverev, beating the young German 6-1 6-3 in just 52 minutes for his 9th crown in Halle! So credits to him, he played an unbelievable match.

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"It was all a little uncertain because I don't know him that well", said Federer, who rued uncharacteristic unforced errors.

Despite a shock exit from Stuttgart on his comeback last fortnight, Federer has improved in Halle and has not yet lost a set.

"I think it was a very good week for me again making the finals here". Khachanov broke to stay alive at 4-5, failed to capitalize on either of two set points at 6-5, and eventually saw the back-and-forth second set-and the match-come to an end went he sailed a backhand past the baseline at 5-6 in the 'breaker.

The Croatian had grabbed the only break of the match to take the first set, but could not convert either of two break point chances in the second set.

The 35-year-old Swiss will face fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev or Richard Gasquet in Sunday's final.

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