GERRY WEBER OPEN 2012
Federer Storms Into Seventh Halle Final; Faces Home Hope Haas
by ATP Staff|
World No. 3 Roger Federer advanced to the Gerry Weber Open final for the seventh time on Saturday in Halle as he dismissed Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-4 in one hour. The Basel native fired eight aces and converted four of his eight break points to seal his 13th win in 13 meetings with the No. 31-ranked Youzhny.
"It was a good match for me," said Federer. "An early start, but I think I started well. Mikhail started a bit slow, but I think I took advantage of it and after that I was able to get on a roll. I’m obviously excited to be a finalist here again."
The Swiss is bidding to win the title at this ATP World Tour 250 grass-court tournament for the sixth time after victories in 2003-2006 and 2008. He has a 39-4 event record, with his only final defeat coming in 2010 against Lleyton Hewitt.
"It’s always special winning a title not far away from home," said Federer. "I remember my parents came up to watch me play. It’s a long way. I think I rode back with them to Switzerland and then I would go to Wimbledon. I always played very well here in the final actually. I never had a bad final. I hope it can be again something similar tomorrow."
The 30-year-old Federer is coming off a semi-final showing at Roland Garros, where he lost out to Novak Djokovic. He is looking to win his fifth title of the season after triumphing at Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells and Madrid.
In the final, where he is chasing his 75th tour-level title, Federer will face 2009 winner Tommy Haas. The 34 year old reached his 22nd ATP World Tour final as he battled past defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(5), 7-5 in an all-German contest.
"Tommy and I share many years together on the tour and also our families are close," said Federer. "I’m happy for him that he made it so far and beat such top players. I hoped that he’d find his way into the tournament and would have a good run. He’s very dangerous on grass. So, it won’t be an easy final for me."
Haas and Federer’s rivalry spans 12 years, with the first meeting taking place in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics and resulting in a straight-sets win for Haas. Since then, the German has lost 10 of their past 11 meetings.
Haas’ last ATP World Tour title came three years ago, when he defeated Novak Djokovic in the Halle final. The Hamburg native returned to the Top 100 (No. 87) in the South African Airways ATP Rankings this week after reaching the third round as a qualifier at Roland Garros (l. to Gasquet). He has a 13-6 record on the season.
"To be in another final on German soil is fantastic for me," declared Haas. "It's something I really hoped for to happen one more time. I'm going for my 13th title tomorrow, which is one huge goal that I still have, against possibly the greatest player of all time. It's an honour in many ways, but at the same time, once the ball is in play, I really don't care who's on the other side. You just try to win those big points and try to win the match."
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