Roger Federer to face Alexander Zverev in Halle final

Roger Federer downed Karen Khachanov 6-4 7-6 to secure a spot in Sunday's Halle Open final.

The top seed suffered a shock loss to veteran German Tommy Haas in his first competitive match on grass this season in Stuttgart, but has built momentum in a tournament that has given him such fond memories over the years.

Fourth seed Zverev, who beat Federer in the semi-finals previous year before losing to Florian Mayer in the final, won 4-6 6-4 6-3 against France's Gasquet.

Federer is now, just one match away for his 9th title in the German city.

However, he was defeated by Alexander Zverev in three sets in the semi-finals at Halle in 2016.

The 18-times grand slam champion, who captured the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami titles this year, skipped the entire claycourt season to improve his chances of winning a record eighth title at the All England Club.

For the 35-year-old it will be his 11th Halle grass court tournament final. While Zverev is 15 years younger than the Swiss, Federer also mentioned that he is looking to extend his career as much as possible.

Zverev, Germany's top-ranked player at No. 12, fired 11 aces and converted four of eight break opportunities to win in under two hours. Federer though is undoubtedly the greatest grass player of all time, and is in the best form he has been in for quite a while. Zverev proved too hot to handle for former World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the final of the Italian Open, re-assuring the tennis world that he was headed for greatness in the coming years.

"I'm still just very happy how I was able to close it out in the tie-breaker. t was perhaps not always very handsome to watch, but it's good to be in the final in the second tournament after my return", said the Swiss Master, via Fox Sports.

The Swiss lured the youngster to the net on several occasions, including at 4-4 in the second set when the Russian dumped a forehand volley into the net to give Federer two break points.

  • Julie Sanders