Federer beats Nishikori to reach Halle final, plays Falla for the title

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 Roger Federer

Defending champion Roger Federer entered his ninth Halle final after an accomplished performance against fourth seed Kei Nishikori under the roof of the Gerry Weber stadium. The second seed Swiss Maestro broke the deadlock in the sixth game of the opener where he capitalized on two successive errors by the opponent. He faced a break back point in the follow-up game which he averted by hitting a service winner to eventually hold for 5-2. Roger continued to serve dominantly to create a triple set point before moving one nil ahead by converting in second attempt.

FedEx went on to break in the beginning of the set two, yet the Japanese showed high spirit by pegging straight back. The set progressed on serve from then on with neither of the contestants even stretching the opponent to deuce. Serving to stay in the set in the twelfth game, Federer put away three aces to boost his confidence before the ensuing tie-break. The players changed ends with Nishikori leading 4-2, but he paid a price of two mistakes on his serve after which the Swiss struck his tenth ace of the day to generate a double match point. The first one did the trick as the Japanese netted a backhand to let the rival win 6-3, 7-6 (4). Federer, who has an alley named after him in Halle, conquered the ATP 250 grass-court tournament on six occasions.

The second semi-final featured unseeded athletes Alejandro Falla of Colombia and home crowd favorite Philipp Kohlschreiber. The latter claimed a back and forth opener in which he neutralized an early break before converting the set point number seven. The second set serving left little to be desired and the rivals could not be told apart before a closely-fought breaker which went the Colombian’s way in the end. The German regrouped quickly to go 2-0 up in the beginning of the decider, yet Falla rallied from behind to complete a comeback by securing a 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-4 triumph. The World no. 69 has been defeated in all six encounters with Federer, including the round of 64 meeting at the London Olympics.

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