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Federer, Zverev To Battle For Halle Title

In what should be a thrilling battle pitting experience against youth, top seed Roger Federer takes on fourth seed Alexander Zverev on Sunday in Halle for the Gerry Weber Open title.

The pair have taken markedly different roads to the championship match. After a surprise opening-round loss last week in Stuttgart, Federer has moved into the Halle final without losing a set. Although he was forced to save two set points in his semi-final against #NextGenATP player Karen Khachanov, the eight-time Halle champion has been in vintage form on the grass.

Roger Federer takes on Alexander Zverev in the Gerry Weber Open final.
Meanwhile, Zverev relied on plenty of grit in rallying from a set down in his quarter-final against Roberto Bautista Agut and semi-final against Richard Gasquet. However, Zverev's best tennis came in the final set of both these matches, which should give him plenty of confidence if he needs to go to a decider against Federer.

Both men come into the final with 3-0 records in championship matches this season. Federer prevailed at the Australian Open before completing the “Sunshine Double,” winning ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami. Zverev has racked up titles this year in Montpellier, Munich and the Masters 1000 event in Rome.

But while one record will be broken on Sunday, other milestones will be created. The 35-year-old Federer and 20-year-old Zverev are bidding to become the oldest and youngest champions in the tournament’s 25-year history, respectively. Should Zverev win, he would become the only player this year to win titles on hard, clay and grass courts. It would also give the German his second title on home soil.

If Federer prevails, it would further extend his dominance at his most successful event with a ninth title. The Swiss star is competing in a staggering 140th ATP World Tour final (91-47, with one w/o), 11 of which have come in Halle.

Federer and Zverev are currently even in their FedEx ATP Head2Head Series at 1-1. The Swiss maestro won their initial meeting last year in Rome, but Zverev turned the tables a month later with a stunning three-set win in the Halle semi-finals. It remains Federer’s only loss to a #NextGenATP player.

Both of their stocks have significantly risen since that match 12 months ago. Federer completed a remarkable comeback by winning his 18th Grand Slam title to start the year, while Zverev won his first Masters 1000 title last month and made his debut inside the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.

If we’re going off current form, this final between two of the most impressive players on the ATP World Tour this season has all the makings of a classic.

Over at the Aegon Championships in London, it’s a battle of veterans as fourth seed Marin Cilic takes on Feliciano Lopez.

Cilic has put on a dominant serving display this week, dropping just 10 first-serve points in four matches. Meanwhile, the Spaniard continues his mastery of grass this season by reaching his second consecutive ATP World Tour final. Lopez finished runner-up last week at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart (l. Pouille).

The Croatian leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head against Lopez 5-2 and has won their past four matches, including their lone battle on grass last year in the opening round at this event.

Source: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/federer-zverev-halle-2017-final-preview

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