The dream final was set in Halle Saturday as Roger Federer and local wunderkind Alexander Zverev advanced to a tasty title match tomorrow.
Federer eased past Russian Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6(5) in his first meeting with the powerful 21-year-old.
“I thought it was extremely close, especially that second set,” Federer said. “I’m still just very happy how I was able to close it out in the tiebreaker.”
Federer was broken early and again when serving for the match at 5-4. The Swiss then fended off set points at 5-6 before closing out the match in a breaker.
Federer is into his 11th Halle final and he’ll seek a ninth title.
Zverev had a little tougher day beating Richard Gasquet in three sets 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The German fought off an early test from Gasquet at the start of the third to take the last four games of the match.
Zverev beat Federer in Halle last year. The series is 1-1.
“He’s got home-court advantage. He’s got a wonderful serve and one of the best backhands in the game,” Federer added. “He takes big cuts at the ball, returns very well. He’s a tough player to play against.”
Both finalists are seeking a fourth title on the season, and neither has lost in a final in 2017. Zverev is also bidding for a grass title after already having won this year on hard and clay.
“I don’t really know what to say, that was fantastic,” Zverev said. “It’s always fun to play in front of this fantastic audience. I have played three times against Roger and twice I won. Probably it’s one of the dream finals of the tournament and I’m very much looking forward to it.”
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