Top seed Rafael Nadal was ushered out of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle earlier today. The French Open champion fell in straight sets to German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4.
“Why I lost today is easy, he played much better than me,” said Nadal. “My movements were not good to play against a player, who hits every ball hard, aggressive. He was playing the ball very fast. So, I need a little bit more time. But playing against him here in my second match on grass only having a few hours of practice was very difficult today.”
The defending Halle champion Kohlscreiber had never beaten Nadal in eight tries until Friday.
“From the name, from the match for sure it’s the best victory. He’s won eleven Grand Slam titles and many other titles. So, it’s really great,” said Kohlschreiber. “I’m also realistic that he didn’t have his best match or his best day, but for myself, I played maybe one of the best matches here on grass so far.”
Nadal’s last non-clay title came in October 2010 at Tokyo. He also is out of the doubles competition after partner Marcel Granollers withdrew due to an ankle injury.
“I cannot practise on grass but I think it’s better if I don’t practise for a few days,” Nadal said. “I’ve played enough tennis for the last couple of months… I’m very happy with how I’ve been playing the whole season. It’s the time to rest a little bit, to be at home with family and friends, to enjoy the weather there in Mallorca, relax. And when I feel ready to come back I’ll fly to London and practise there in Wimbledon.”
Nadal wasn’t the only seed toppled in the quarterfinals, No. 3 seed Tomas Berdych fell to another German, Tommy Haas, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. The 34-year-old Haas won the Halle title in 2009 but has beset by several injuries since.
Avoiding the upset bug this week has been Roger Federer who survived another tough test from Milos Raonic. In his third meeting with the rising Canadian this year Federer was again extended to three sets, this time prevailing 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(3).
“It was the third time in three or four months that we played each other. We know each other a bit better now,” said Federer. “But it still makes it as difficult to break each other’s serve. Somehow I had the feeling that it was going to be 7-6 in the third. I just hoped it was going to be in my favour. Of course, I’m satisfied that I came through. It was difficult.”
Added Raonic via his twitter account, “1 set is not enough!”.
Federer, a five-time Halle champ, now faces Mikhail Youzhny in the semifinals tomorrow. Federer
has never lost to any of the is 20-2 combined against the three remaining players in the tournament, losing twice to Haas more than 10 years ago. The Federer-Youzhny winner will face a German in the final.
After an early week of surprises, things settled to some form on Friday at Queen’s. Rising Grigor Dimitrov booked a berth in his first career ATP semifinal by beating big-serving Kevin Anderson 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The Bulgarian who patterns his game after Roger Federer even shed a tear like the Swiss after the huge victory.
“I was basically kind of stuck after the first set, but thank God it rained so I had time to go back in the locker and had time to review the first set and see what I did good and see what I did bad,” said Dimitrov. “After I think I was just more focused and more steady than him. It was ups and downs, but what’s important is the end result. I got a couple of tears. It was a good moment. I always wanted to share this with the people that I love.”
The 21-year-old Dimitov plays veteran David Nalbandian. Because of rain, the Argentine had to win two matches on Friday defeating Roger-Vasselin and then Xavier Malisse, both in three sets. Nalbandian last reached a grass final at 2002 Wimbledon.
In the other semifinal it’s former champion Sam Querrey against Marin Cilic.
HALLE SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 16 JUNE, 2012
CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
M Youzhny (RUS) vs  R Federer (SUI)
Not Before 2:50 PM
 P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [WC] T Haas (GER)
 A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) vs L Kubot (POL) / M Youzhny (RUS)
QUEEN’S SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 16 JUNE, 2012
CENTRE start 1:15 pm
 M Cilic (CRO) vs S Querrey (USA)
G Dimitrov (BUL) vs  D Nalbandian (ARG)
 M Mirnyi (BLR) / D Nestor (CAN) vs  E Butorac (USA) / P Hanley (AUS)
 J Tipsarevic (SRB) / N Zimonjic (SRB) or X Malisse (BEL) / D Norman (BEL) vs  B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA)
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