Roger Federer stormed into the semi-final of Gerry Weber Open for the 13th consecutive time after dumping out defending champion Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-4 in straight sets on Friday. The eight-time champion takes on young Russian player Karen Khachanov in the last-four match later today in Halle.
Federer has not dropped a set yet in the ongoing tournament, beating the likes of Yuichi Sugita, Mischa Zverev and Mayer en route to the last-four stage. The successful run in one of his favourite tournaments (57-6 record at Halle) comes at a right time for the 35-year-old, who will be gunning his 19th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, starting July 3.
The Swiss star had a dream run on hard courts this season, in which he won the Australian open and a Sunshine Double. He chose to skip the action on dirt to get himself ready for the remainder of the year.
Federer though had a rough start to grass season as he faced a shocking first-round exit at Stuttgart earlier this month. However, the world number four seems to have hit peak form in the ongoing tournament. He was largely untroubled during his win in the quarter-final yesterday against Mayer, against whom he has a perfect 4-0 record in Halle.
"I think I did it very well. I had lots of chances to even go up a double break in the second set. I thought I was very calm out there, even in difficult moments. I was calm serving out the first and second sets. Those are always signs for me that things are slowly starting to fall into place nicely," Federer said, as quoted by ATP's official website.
Federer has not met Khachanov in the past and should be wary of the in-form Russian youngster, who has reached the semi-final of an ATP Masters 500 tournament for the first time. The world number 38 had a stunning run at the French Open earlier this year as he managed to beat the likes Tomas Berdych and John Isner before falling to Andy Murray in the R16.
Khachanov has continued his good run in Halle as he stunned Giles Simon in the first round, before benefitting in the second round due to Kei Nishikori's injury.
However, the young shuttler, who has had very little experience on grass at the highest level, might find it difficult to match Federer's class in today's big clash.
Where to watch
The Gerry Weber Open semi-final match between Roger Federer and Karen Khachanov is set to start at around 1 pm local time, 4:30 pm IST and 12 pm BST.
TV and live streaming information
India: TV: Sony ESPN. Live streaming: Sony Liv
USA: TV: Fox Sports, Tennis channel. Live streaming: Tennis channel
Canada: TV: RDS, TSN
South Africa: TV: Super Sport. Live streaming: Super Sport live streaming
International live streaming: ATP official website (Subscription needed)