Roger Federer booked a spot in his 15th Halle semifinal Friday beating Roberto Bautista Agut in a tough 3-setter 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. The Spaniard Agut, who slips to 0-9 against Federer, was broken early in the first but then grabbed an early break in the second.
In the third, Agut crumbled serving 4-5 allowing the 37-year-old Federer to advance.
”He’s a top player and he has beaten top guys before, played good at big events, gives the best players a hard time and beats them sometimes. You’ve got to expect him to come out there and play a tough match,” said Federer. “He’s able to stay in the rallies on the grass court and he has a very dangerous forehand. I’m not surprised about the tough match and enjoyed the battle.”
Federer will now face Pierre-Hugues Herbert who upset defending champion Borna Coric after the Croat retired down 7-5 due to a back injury.
Second seed Alexander Zverev was bounced by David Goffin 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(3). After reaching the French quarters, Zverev has lost three of his last five matches.
“I started to serve badly and also didn’t play good in the rallies. Things can go fast against a player like him if that is the case,” said Zverev. “I can also take the positives. I played three great matches here. Today’s match was a high-quality one and so were the first two rounds. Of course, I am not happy that I lost, but I feel good for Wimbledon. Let’s see how things will go there.”
Goffin will next face the hot-handed Matteo Berrettini in the semifinals. The Italian 23-year-old won his 8th straight match beating – for a second time during the streak – Karen Khachanov 6-2, 7-6(4).
The Stuttgart champion has lost just one set and been broken just once in the his last eight matches (to Seppi on Thursday).
Federer, who is seeking a 10th Halle title, is the only seed to make the semifinals. Seeds 2-4 all lost today.
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