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Federer Reaches 11th Halle Final

There's no place quite like Halle for Roger Federer. The Swiss star will play in an 11th Gerry Weber Open final on Sunday after having to battle past #NextGenATP Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6(5) in the semi-finals on Saturday.

“I thought it was extremely close, especially that second set... I'm still just very happy how I was able to close it out in the 'breaker,” Federer said.

Roger Federer advances to the Gerry Weber Open final on Saturday.
Federer will go for his ninth title in the German city, which would mark the first time he has won a tournament as many times. The 35-year-old Swiss first reached the Halle final in 2003, beating German Nicolas Kiefer for the crown.

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But Federer hasn't played for the trophy at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament since 2015. On Sunday, he will meet #NextGenATP German Alexander Zverev, who beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Federer lost to Zverev in last year's Halle semi-finals but beat the German last year in Rome. “He's got home-court advantage. He's got a wonderful serve and one of the best backhands in the game... He takes big cuts at the ball, returns very well. He's a tough player to play against,” Federer said.

The World No. 5 has yet to drop a set in Halle this week. He improved his all-time record at the tournament to 58-6 and is 23-2 on the season. Federer has reached the final in four of his six tournaments this year.

Federer had never faced the 21-year-old Khachanov before Saturday, but the big-hitting right-hander, who was trying to reach his second ATP World Tour final (2016 Chengdu), was unintimidated against the all-time great.

The two exchanged breaks to start the match but Federer broke once more and rode the early advantage to a one-set lead. Neither player could break in the early goings of the second set as Khachanov was freely blasting forehands and Federer was stepping into his backhand and flattening out the one-hander.

At 4-4, Federer broke Khachanov for a chance to serve for the match, but Khachanov broke right back when a Federer forehand pass sailed wide. The 6'6” Khachanov even had two set points on Federer's serve at 5-6 but was unable to convert either.

In the tie-break, Federer clinched his 11th final appearance when Khachanov lifted a backhand long on match point.

Source: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/federer-khachanov-halle-2017-saturday

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