Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Kudla up next in Federer's Halle 'fight'

Benoit Paire GETTYBenoit Paire had two match points against Roger Federer before he lost
Cary Erickson | 26 June, 2018, 03:15

The Spaniard was forced to retire after an unfortunate slip, with Coric serving at 2-3.

Federer set up match point with a flicking backhand pass and then sealed his semi-final place as Ebden returned long.

The top-seeded Swiss kept the pressure on Kudla in the second, with the qualifier saving break points before Federer salvaged three of his own to square the set at four games apiece. "I played Davis Cup there in 2006 and I know the courts and facilities there are excellent".

The 25-year-old Kudla had saved 20 of 21 break points on his way to the semifinals at the grass-court tournament.

The 36-year-old is seeking to defend his title, which would mark his 10th career crown in Halle. It will be his second final in as many weeks.

"It's a good warmup".

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"You need to take the right decisions along the way", Federer said of the dramatic tiebreaker. "Perhaps I'm missing the training".

"I'm playing a lot of matches right now".

Nine-time Halle champion Federer, who saved two match points to beat Benoit Paire in the second round, edged a tense opening set against 60th ranked Ebden in the tiebreak with a backhand victor.

Meanwhile at Queen's Club, Novak Djokovic swept into the quarterfinals and recorded his 799th career win with a 6-4, 6-1 demolition of Grigor Dimitrov.

Roger Federer, left, greets Denis Kudla, right, after winning their semi final match at the Gerry Weber Open ATP tennis tournament in Halle, Germany, Saturday, June 23, 2018.

Federer must retain his title this weekend to remain top of the rankings and he will face Denis Kudla at the semi-final stage after overcoming a confident Ebden in their first meeting to stretch his winning run on grass to 19 matches.