Roger Federer strolls into Halle semis for the 13th time

Roger Federer

Federer, the 18-time Grand Slam title victor who is building up for an assault on an eighth Wimbledon title next month, next faces 2016 Halle champion Florian Mayer for a place in the semi-finals.

In the semi-final, he eased past his Russian opponent Karen Khachanov 6-4 7-6 (5), to reach his 11th final in Halle.

Federer continued his career-long dominance over 134th-ranked Mayer, winning 17 of their 18 sets.

Fourth seed Cilic battled past Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-3 5-7 6-4 following an hour's delay to the original order of play, while Lopez came through 7-5 3-6 6-2 after an interrupted encounter with Grigor Dimitrov later on Centre Court. Zverev meanwhile has been in the form of his career in 2017, having won three tournaments including his first Masters 1000 victory by beating Novak Djokovic in Rome.

The Australian Open champion did not lose a set in Halle as he won his 92nd ATP Tour title to prepare for SW19 in the ideal manner.

Switzerland's Roger Federer wipes away sweat during his match against Germany's Mischa Zverev at the Gerry Weber Open tennis tournament in Halle, Germany, Thursday, June 22.

The former world number one is looking for some grass court matches under his belt ahead of Wimbledon
The former world number one is looking for some grass court matches under his belt ahead of Wimbledon

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.

Wimbledon is to be held from July 3 to 16.

Mayer and Zverev may have the backing of the German fans in Halle, but Federer can never be counted out. "I'm still just very happy how I was able to close it out in the tiebreaker".

His huge serve was on full display when he won the 's-Hertogenbosch title on grass last week and once again he used it to devastating effect against Querrey. "He started serving great, which put me under pressure as I wasn't getting many looks".

"It was perhaps not always very attractive to watch, but it's good to be in the final in the second tournament after my return", the Swiss said afterwards. I know he wants it badly, so it will be a tough one.

The world No1 is set to play at the Aspall Tennis Classic exhibition event at the Hurlingham Club this week in order to ensure sufficient match-time on grass before beginning his Wimbledon defence next week.

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