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Federer swings magic wand in Halle en route to semifinals

26 June 2018
Federer swings magic wand in Halle en route to semifinals

Roger Federer is not playing his best tennis at the Gerry Weber Open this week, but still managed to make his way to the semi-finals with victory over Matthew Ebden on Friday.

"I think in that match I played nearly flawless", Coric said looking back to Indian Wells.

Federer insists this is to be expected, though, after sitting out the clay-court season and then returning to play two tournaments in two weeks on grass. So, I'm happy I found a way again to win today. "I think once you reach the semis, for me anyhow, I start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, that [signals] the tournament is coming to an end".

Kudla played a very solid match, pushing a shaky Federer to his limits at times, but the Swiss managed to save six out of seven break points and overpower his opponent in the closing stages of both sets to notch his 20th straight win on grass.

He will face Roberto Bautista Agut or Borna Coric in Sunday's final.

Federer needed just under 90 minutes to get the job done and hold off the 109th-ranked Kulda, who had not lost a set going into the semi-final.

Federer is back in a familiar spot in Halle, which models its centre court after its namesake at the All England club, as he works to fine-tune with a Wimbledon title defence starting a week from Monday. His famous one-handed backhand was on fire, striking down winners and passing shots from all corners of the court.

In the second set, Ebden broke Federer twice and served for the set at 5-4 only for the Swiss to break back for a second time.

In front of a packed crowd under the roof in Germany, Federer finished with a flourish to break Ebden for a third time in the match and secure progress.

The American victor, ranked 109th, had never been past a quarterfinal on grass, which he achieved at Queen's club, London five years ago.