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Federer To Face Falla For Halle Title

Halle, Germany

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer will vie for his seventh Halle title on Sunday.

Roger Federer soared into his ninth final at the Gerry Weber Open with a 6-3, 7-6(4) victory over Kei Nishikori on Saturday.

Federer will vie for his 14th grass title and 79th overall after improving to 45-5 on the lawns of Halle. The six-time champion (2003-06, ‘08, ‘13) fired 10 aces and was a perfect 2/2 on break point opportunities, dismissing the Japanese in 73 minutes.

Nishikori rallied from behind in the second set, forcing a tie-break and earning an early mini-break at 4-2, but two consecutive forehand errors would hand the advantage back to Federer. The second seed would convert on his first match point, levelling the FedEx ATP Head2Head at two apiece.

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"I’m very happy that things are going so well for me here this week," Federer said after his battle against Nishikori. "I only played a few matches and I’m in the final now. I wasn’t sure whether it’s a good thing to get a walkover in the quarter-finals because I was really lacking matches on grass. Playing against somebody like Nishikori is a big test. 

"I’m extremely happy with the way I played today. I think I played really aggressive, I served well when I had to and I was able to keep the pressure on Kei and at the end I think I deserved to win. I played a good tie-break as well to get back into it and now I’m in another final here at the Gerry Weber Open. I love this tournament. I’ve won it six times before. So I’m hoping to make it seven."

By also reaching the doubles final with partner Marco Chiudinelli, the 32-year-old Federer is trying to become the first player on the ATP World Tour this season to win singles and doubles titles in the same tournament. Federer has achieved this feat twice before, previously prevailing in singles and doubles in Halle 2005 (d. Safin; w/ Allegro d. Johansson/Safin) and Vienna 2003 (d. Moya; w/ Allegro d. Bhupathi/Mirnyi).

The Swiss will face Alejandro Falla in the singles final after he became the second Colombian to reach an ATP World Tour final in 2014, rallying to upset home favourite Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first semi-final. Santiago Giraldo recently advanced to the final in Barcelona (l. to Nishikori).

Falla emerged victorious 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-4 in two hours and 22 minutes, fighting back from a break deficit inFalla the third set to deny the 2011 champion a third appearance in the Halle title match.

"It’s an amazing feeling," said Falla. "I’m very happy for my second final. It’s a goal that I had. It’s been a great week for me. I fought in every match, I was down many times...The only thing I could do was fight because I wasn’t playing that great today in the first set. I think he was playing a little better but I was fighting and then I found my way out."

The 30 year old, who won his 100th tour-level match with a first-round victory over Lukasz Kubot, will attempt to become the second Colombian-born champion on the ATP World Tour in the Open Era. Mauricio Hadad previously won in Bermuda in 1995.

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Falla is the first South American to reach the final in the 22-year history of the Gerry Weber Open and the first left-hander since Petr Korda in 1997. The Cali native is seeking to become the second first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season after Federico Delbonis prevailed in Sao Paulo (d. Lorenzi).

Kohlschreiber, meanwhile, was eyeing his second consecutive three-set win in as many days after saving five match points in a thrilling victory over Dustin Brown in Friday's quarter-finals.

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Federer Looks To Pull Double Duty
Roger Federer will look to claim the doubles title as well on Sunday after he and partner Marco Chiudinelli downed the all-German duo of Dustin Brown and Jan-Lennard Struff 7-5, 6-3 in the semi-finals.

Federer enters his 40th doubles final in search of a ninth tour-level crown. He previously prevailed at the Gerry Weber Open alongside Yves Allegro in 2005.

Federer and Chiudinelli, who have not relinquished a set this week, will face fellow unseeded tandem Andre Begemann and Julian Knowle in the final.

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