Roger Federer will meet his old rival Lleyton Hewitt for the Halle Gerry Weber Tennis title tomorrow. Today in the semifinals Federer had his sternest test in turning away German Philipp Petzschner 7-6(3), 6-4.
Federer struggled early and often in the first set. The World No. 2 twice trailed by a break before climbing back to level.
“I think I mentioned yesterday, he’s a good player, he has good potential and is talented,” Federer said. “You can see it in the way he plays. He is very relaxed and he can play in different ways. So, that can work in his favour but also against him because you have sometimes few too many options.
“It was an interesting match for me, especially playing him for the first time. I’m happy the way I played because it wasn’t easy but I found a way which was great.”
Meanwhile, former Wimbledon champion Hewitt was pushed to three sets by Benjamin Becker before prevailing 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-2.
“It’s nice anytime I’m playing any kind of final,” said Hewitt who despite hip surgery is quietly having a good year. “Obviously the big picture is in a week’s time in Wimbledon and wanting to do the right things for there. But obviously my first week on grass, to be through to the final … Every time I step on the court I give 100 per cent anyway. Tomorrow is going to be no different.”
Federer has beaten Hewitt 17 of 24 times including a jaw-dropping 15 straight times.
Federer has won five straight titles in Halle, 29 straight matches, and he’s won 76 of his last 77 matches on grass (that loss coming to Rafael Nadal at 2008 Wimbledon). But he’ll seek his first ATP title (not Slam) since last summer in Cincinnati.
“It’s always special playing him. We go way back. We even played doubles together in Wimbledon one year,” said Federer. “It’s amazing how many times we’ve played, it’s amazing the record I have now against him after starting off with a tough head to head record against him, actually.”
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