Roger Federer was pushed again in Halle. A day after saving two match points in a thriller against Benoit Paire, Federer had to come from a break down in the second to beat Matt Ebden 7-6(2), 7-5.
The Aussie Ebden served for the second at 5-4 but couldn’t force the decider as the 9-time Halle champ won the last four games to win his 19th straight match on grass.
“First and second set were completely different from one another and I’m happy I played good when I had to end of the second, end of the first as well,” Federer said. “I think that comes with playing a lot of matches now. It was tricky. I think Ebden played a good match and I’m happy I got through somehow.
“I felt like I had to push myself a little bit today in the match. It didn’t come as easy as maybe other days. Potentially, I also get a bit more frustrated, you know, when you’re a bit more tired. But at the end of the day I can take a lot a lot of positives out of today’s match for the semis tomorrow. I think once you reach the semis, for me anyhow, I start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, that the tournament is coming to an end.”
In the semifinals, Federer will meet the surprising qualifier Denis Kudla. The American also came from a break down in the second in his 6-2, 7-5 victory over Yuichi Sugita which placed him into his second career ATP semifinal after 2015 Atlanta.
The other semifinal will pit Roberto Bautista Agut against Borna Coric. Bautista Agut ended Karen Khachanov’s campaign 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 while Coric eased past Andreas Seppi 7-5, 6-3.
“I came here to prepare Wimbledon and to get ready to be as fit as possible there,” Bautista Agut said. “I think I’m doing well. I’ve played already three matches and I feel I’m playing good on grass. So, it’s been great.”
The 22-year-old Coric will play in his first ATP semifinal on grass.
SATURDAY HALLE SCHEDULE
Starts At 11:30 Am
SF Roger Federer v Denis Kudla
Not Before 2:00 Pm
SF Roberto Bautista Agut v Borna Coric
Not Before 5:00 Pm
SF Alexander Zverev/Mischa Zverev v Nikola Mektic/Alexander Peya
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