Federer cruises past Herbert, will play for 10th Halle title
Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates after defeating Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals of the Noventi Open, a Wimbledon tune-up event in Halle, Germany, on June 22, 2019. EPA-EFE/FOCKE STRANGMANN
France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert in action against Switzerland's Roger Federer in the semifinals of the Noventi Open, a Wimbledon tune-up event in Halle, Germany, on June 22, 2019. EPA-EFE/FOCKE STRANGMANN
Switzerland's Roger Federer in action against France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the semifinals of the Noventi Open, a Wimbledon tune-up event in Halle, Germany, on June 22, 2019. EPA-EFE/FOCKE STRANGMANN
Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates after defeating France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the semifinals of the Noventi Open, a Wimbledon tune-up event in Halle, Germany, on June 22, 2019. EPA-EFE/FOCKE STRANGMANN
Halle, Germany, Jun 22 (efe-epa).- Roger Federer needed just over an hour to brush aside Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3, 6-3 here Saturday and reach the final of the Noventi Open, a Wimbledon tune-up event that the Swiss great will try to win for the 10th time.
The 37-year-old Federer, who set the record for most Halle titles more than a decade ago, won the match with his typical ruthless efficiency, not facing a single break point and winning 86 percent of his first-serve points and a whopping 92 percent of his second-serve points.
The Swiss secured one break of the 43rd-ranked Frenchman's serve in the first set and two in the second en route to the routine win in 62 minutes.
Saturday's match also showed that Federer is rounding into form ahead of tennis' grass-court Grand Slam, Wimbledon, a tournament he has won a record eight times in his illustrious career.
"It's great. I thought it was a very solid performance from me. I didn't struggle on serve and (when) I had my opportunities on the return, I was able to take them," Federer was quoted as saying on the ATP World Tour's Web site.
"I was able to find some good energy today, especially in the important moments, because the past couple days have been tough. It's been a lot of tennis, so this is maybe exactly what I need going into the final."
Federer struggled in both his second-round and quarterfinal matches, barely escaping with a 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-5 victory over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday before edging Spain's Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 on Friday.
He will next take on Belgian surprise finalist David Goffin, who advanced to the championship match with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 victory over Italy's Matteo Berrettini in Saturday's semifinals.
The 33rd-ranked Belgian also edged German world No. 5 Alexander Zverev 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) in Friday's quarterfinals.
Federer holds a 7-1 edge over Goffin in their career head-to-head and has won their only match a grass - a 6-1, 7-6 (12-10) victory in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Halle event.
"He's a great guy. I really like his game. He's got one of the best backhands in the game. (He's) super fast on his feet and he's got great footing on a court that's really difficult," the world No. 3 said.
"I think I'm going to have a tough final, anyway at this stage, but particularly against David, who I have a lot of respect for."