Federer defeats Mayer, reaches Halle Open semi-final

Federer defeats Mayer, reaches Halle Open semi-final

"I think the second half of the season is going to be really, really interesting".

Roger Federer's preparation for the Wimbledon and his hunt for a ninth title at the Halle Open is set to continue on Friday as he is up against defending champion Florian Mayer next.

Mayer was a 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-3 victor over sixth seed Lucas Pouille, while wildcard Andrey Rublev beat Mikhail Youzhny in an all-Russian second round match and will now face another compatriot in the form of Khachanov.

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Federer is through to the semifinals in Halle for the 13th consecutive time, with his two quarterfinal losses at the event coming in 2000-2001.

The Swiss will now face 21-year-old Karen Khachanov for a place in Sunday's final - with all the action live on Sky Sports this weekend.

He lost in the opening round of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart last week to Tommy Haas but has looked much more impressive in Halle which is ominous for his rivals ahead of Wimbledon, which starts on July 3.

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"I think he's most risky on the grass".

France's Richard Gasquet is also through to the last four after a 6-1 3-6 6-1 victory over Robin Haase. "I'm glad I could win in two sets and have the feeling I played well". "He plays a bit different on the serve and the forehand, which is different to the regular forehand technique we see".

Such invention only earned the 33-year-old a stay of execution, though, Federer holding to seal it soon afterwards with a trademark off forehand victor into empty court.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Mischa Zverev's brother and fourth seed Alexander eased to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Paolo Lorenzi, while Kei Nishikori fought back from a set down to defeat Fernando Verdasco 6-7 (7/9), 6-3, 6-4.

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