Roger Federer had never lost a set before to Benoit Paire, but today in Halle he nearly lost the match. The 9-time Halle champion cruised in the opener but an early break in the second led to Paire’s first set win against the Swiss.
In the third, Federer held match points with Paire serving 15-40, 4-5. In the breaker, Paire led by early mini-break then had two match points of his own at 6-5 and 7-6. But the Frenchman’s forehand proved too faulty under pressure and Federer collected his 18th straight win on grass with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(7) victory.
“It was a tough match,” said Federer. “I played at a good level actually. I think he served well and had a good mix and a good variety. It was hard to break. So, naturally, it was always going to be tight. And at the end it was just extremely close. So, I’m fortunate to have made it today.”
“Benoit played superbly. That has to be said without grudge,” Federer added.
Up next in the quarterfinals is Australian Matthew Ebden who beat German veteran and 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Also on the day, Borna Coric beat Nikolaz Basilishvili 6-4, 6-2. He’ll now meet Andreas Seppi who ousted German Florian Mayer.
In the other quarterfinals, Yuichi Sugita duels qualifier Denis Kudla and Karen Khachanov clashes with Roberto Bautista Agut.
Top seed Federer and No. 4 Bautista Agut are the lone seeds to make the last eight.
FRIDAY HALLE SCHEDULE
STADION Starts At 12:00 Noon
QF Yuichi Sugita v Denis Kudla
QF Roger Federer v Matthew Ebden
QF Karen Khachanov v Roberto Bautista Agut
Not Before 5:30 Pm
QF Andreas Seppi v Borna Coric
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