Their third meeting proved much like their first two, a thriller right down to the very last point. Roger Federer had to overcome a mini-break down in the final set tiebreaker to deny Nick Kyrgios 6-7(2), 6-2, 7-6(5) to reach the Stuttgart finals.
In three matches, the two have played a final breaker in each. And the win sent Federer back to No. 1 in the rankings.
“I’m very happy, very relieved. I thought it was a tough match [like] I expected against Nick. We’ve played so many breakers already, I’m losing count,” Federer said. “It was close. It could have gone either way, naturally. But I’m happy I got it and get back to World No. 1 next Monday, so it’s very exciting. And I’ve got another final, so it’s great news.”
In the final, Federer will meet Milos Raonic who he leads 10-3 including a win last year in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.
“It would mean a lot to me to win Stuttgart, no doubt about it,” Federer said. “I’m really excited to play Milos. He’s in great shape again. It’s nice for him, and I hope we can play another great match and I’m really excited to be in the final here.”
Raonic, who’s been off the tour of late due to a right knee injury, eased past defending champion Lucas Pouile 6-4, 7-6(3).
“It’s a really positive step forward for me. I’ve played good tennis this week,” the 27-year-old Raonic said. “I’m very happy with myself and I hope I can continue to improve my level tomorrow.”
Thus far, Raonic is yet to drop serve all event holding 42 straight times.
“Of course, it will not be easy,” Federer said. “I will have to concentrate on my service and hope that I will get an opening when he serves.”
In Den Bosch, France will have another ATP title on the year as Richard Gasquet will meet Jeremy Chardy in the Sunday final.
Gasquet ousted a pesky Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-2. Chardy was a winner over Matthew Ebden 6-4, 7-5.
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