Federer cruises past Mayer into Halle Open semis


Federer will head into Wimbledon, which starts on July 3, as favourite to win an outright record eighth title and surpass the mark of seven he now shares with Pete Sampras. He is also going for his ninth title at this tournament.

According to odds makers, Roger Federer enters the 2017 Wimbledon as the favourite, closely followed reigning champion Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. In the second round, he beat his fellow German Philip Kohlschreiber.

Twenty-year-old German Alexander Zverev defeated Richard Gasquet at the Halle Open in Germany on Saturday.

With the result, Federer won, for the first time in his career, one tournament nine times. In order to prepare for Wimbledon, he even skipped the claycourt season and in Halle didn't drop a single set. He beat Yuichi Sugita of Japan in the first round, dropping just four games.

The 35-year-old lured Khachanov to the net on several occasions, including at 4-4 in the second set and the Russian dumped a forehand volley into the net to give Federer two break points.

Roger Federer from Switzerland poses with his trophy after winning his final match against Alexander Zverev from Germany at the Gerry Weber Open tennis tournament in Halle, western Germany, on June 25, 2017.

How do they match up?

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Federer had words of affection for Zverev, who won their semifinal in Halle past year.

Federer, who hit 11 aces and 32 winners, said facing Khachanov, who he has never played previously - at least competitively, will present a new challenge for him.

Zverev has a very bright future in the game, and has a victory over Federer at this very venue.

Federer put aside any question about his long layoff affecting his grass-court season.

Federer wrapped up the opening set after the first three games went against serve and there was a break apiece in the second before the legendary Swiss fended off a couple of set points to force a tie-break.

Thoughts on the final matchup?