Roger Federer’s Wimbledon preparations gained momentum as the Swiss blasted past Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3 6-3 on Saturday to reach the final of the Halle Open, where he is seeking a 10th title.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion was dragged to three sets in his previous two rounds in Germany but was back to his best in his first meeting with Frenchman Herbert, winning 86 per cent of points on his first serve.
Up next for the 37-year-old, who is looking to win a 102nd tour-level trophy and move closer to Jimmy Connors’ record of 109, is Belgian David Goffin, who beat Matteo Berrettini 7-6(4) 6-3 in the other semifinal.
“The last couple of days were hard, that’s why I am thrilled to be in the final,” said Federer, who was facing his 337th different opponent.
This will be the 13th time Federer has appeared in the Halle final, and the third straight year he has done so.
Last year he fell in three sets in the title match to Borna Coric.
.@RogerFederer – Most Finals by Tournament (all are tournament records)
• Basel 14
• Halle 13
• Wimbledon 11
• Nitto ATP Finals 10
• Dubai 10
— ATP Media Info (@ATPMediaInfo) June 22, 2019
“I get a chance a year later because after my loss here last year, I didn’t know if I was going to ever be in another Halle final,” Federer told atptour.com.
“You always leave with a bittersweet taste where you had a good tournament and yet you’re frustrated you lost the final. So I’m happy I’ve got another opportunity to win this tournament I like so much, and of course it will be special to win a tournament for the first time 10 times.”
World No.33 Goffin had earlier ended Stuttgart champion Berrettini’s eight-match winning streak, withstanding 14 aces and saving all three break points he faced.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) June 22, 2019
“It was a great feeling on this court, an amazing atmosphere and a top-level match from my side,” Goffin said.
“Matteo is a great player, he’s serving so well. I had to be focussed and aggressive, not too passive. Otherwise he would have had a couple of chances.
“I played well from the start. That was the key to stay focused from the start. I’m playing well, more aggressive. It’s a great feeling this week to be in the final.”
Goffin’s only victory against Federer in eight meetings came at the ATP Finals in London two years ago, where he eventually finished as runner-up.
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