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Federer beats defending champ Mayer to earn Halle semifinal

25 June 2017

Top seed and eight-time champion Roger Federer defeated Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6 (5) on Saturday to advance to the final of the Gerry Weber Open for the 11th time.

For that reason, RealSport will back Zverev to win a tight match and come through to the Halle final, just as he did a year ago.

The 18-time grand slam champion, whose last title at Halle was in 2015, skipped the entire clay court season after winning the Australian Open and claiming titles at Indian Wells and Miami this year, to prepare for grass.

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"I had never played him".

Federer overcame an uncharacteristic wobble by saving two break points in his first service game of the second set and broke three games later, when a double fault followed by a wide backhand saw Mayer fall behind again.

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev, who upset Federer 12 months ago, will face Gasquet after a 6-7 (6/8) 7-6 (7/1) 6-1 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut. I was calm serving out the first and second sets. Zverev booked his second successive final spot when he beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet 4-6 6-4 6-3.

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Federer has not dropped a set yet in the ongoing tournament, beating the likes of Yuichi Sugita, Mischa Zverev and Mayer en route to the last-four stage.

He then converted his first match point.

It was his first win against the world number 56 in three attempts and came without a single break point conceded. The 19-year-old Rublev, who received a wild card for the grass-court tournament, will face another Russian in Karen Khachanov in the next round.

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"I thought I was very calm out there, even in hard moments", said Federer, who only returned to action last week in Stuttgart after a two-month break.