Top seed Roger Federer will challenge for a ninth Halle Open title against Alexander Zverev after reaching the Wimbledon warm-up event final with a 6-4 7-6 (5) win over rising Russian talent Karen Khachanov on Saturday.
Already boasting a win over Federer in their head-to-head record, the world number 12 is also looking for his fourth title of the year and his first at Halle, having lost in the final last year.
Switzerland's Roger Federer, right, with the victor trophy and Germany's Alexander Zverev, left, with the trophy for the second place, frame model Eva Herzigova, after the final match of the Gerry Weber Open tennis tournament in Halle, Germany, Sunday, June 25, 2017.
Federer skipped the entire clay court season to preserve his powers for the grass campaign and he looked as smooth as silk on the Halle grass in a first set which lasted 21 minutes.
"I was a little uncertain about a player I don't know too well", he said of Khachanov. Roger raced to a 4-0 lead, breaking Sascha in games 1 and 3 to gain the authority in the first set, and he sealed it with the third break in the game 7.
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"It was a very good week for me again making the finals here".
The 35-year-old Spaniard - who had spurned a match point in his previous final appearance against Grigor Dimitrov in 2014 - held on to triumph 4-6 7-6 (7/2) 7-6 (10/8).
Petra Kvitova, the two-time Wimbledon champion who is making a courageous comeback from injury, will face unseeded giant-killer Ashleigh Barty in the final of the Birmingham grass court tournament.
Federer wasted set points in the first as Mayer won a nine-minute eighth game, saving both chances and holding serve with a pair of aces.
Zverev, 20, battled hard to stay with his illustrious opponent at the start of the second set, but failed to make any inroads into the Federer serve.
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