Top seed Roger Federer will challenge for a ninth Halle Open title after reaching the Wimbledon warm-up event final with a 6-4 7-6(5) victory over rising Russian talent Karen Khachanov on Saturday.Also Read - #MeToo: WTA Questions Authenticity of Email Allegedly From Chinese Tennis Star Peng Shuai Said to be Missing, Raises Safety Concerns
The 18-times grand slam champion, who captured the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami titles this year, skipped the entire claycourt season to improve his chances of winning a record eighth title at the All England Club. Also Read - Roger Federer Opts Out of Australian Open 2022, Gives Update on Future Plans: My World Will Not Collapse if I Never Play Grand Slam Final
Despite a shock exit from Stuttgart on his comeback last week, Federer has improved in Halle and has not lost a set. He will now play the winner of the other semi-final between Frenchman Richard Gasquet and local favourite Alexander Zverev. Also Read - Novak Djokovic is The Greatest of All Time - Pete Sampras Reignites GOAT Debate in Tennis, Rates World No.1 Serb Ahead of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal
The pair traded breaks in the first two games but Federer made amends by grabbing a second one to restore his advantage and clinch the first set on his second set point.
The Swiss lured Khachanov to the net on several occasions, including at 4-4 in the second set and the Russian dumped a forehand volley into the net to give Federer two break points.
But instead of serving out the set, the top seed was broken again and the Russian even held two set points at 6-5 before the world number five recovered and forced a tiebreak. He converted his first match point to reach an 11th Halle final.
(With inputs from agencies)