Published — Sunday 17 June 2012
Last update 17 June 2012 9:33 pm
HALLE, Germany: Roger Federer will face wild card Tommy Haas of Germany in a bid to win the Gerry Weber Open for a record sixth time today.
The 87th-ranked Haas defeated defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (5), 7-5 yesterday. Federer eased past Mikhail Youzhny of Russia by 6-1, 6-4 to reach his seventh final.
“To be able to play Federer again is simply top,” said Haas, the oldest player in the singles draw at 34.
Federer is aiming to win his 75th tour title, only two behind all-time leader John McEnroe.
“That would be nice but I want more titles. If I only get three more, then the years ahead don’t look too good for me,” Federer said, joking.
After winning the first set on a tiebreaker, Haas got the decisive break in the 11th game of the second set to lead 6-5 before wrapping up the match.
“I said it all week that Tommy’s playing fantastic tennis,” said Kohlschreiber, who knocked out Rafael Nadal on Friday.
Earlier, the second-seeded Federer broke Youzhny twice to wrap up the first set in just 21 minutes. The Swiss was in such control that one fan implored him to slow down.
The 16-time Gram Slam champion responded by breaking twice more, before dropping serve to lead 5-3.
Federer wasted three break points in the next game, but sealed the match in the following one with his eighth ace.
“It was nice to come out and play some decent tennis after yesterday’s shootout drill,” Federer said, referring to his tiebreaker win over Milos Raonic of Canada in the quarterfinals.
The 29-year-old Youzhny has never beaten Federer in 13 attempts.
“Mikhail played a great tournament, and he deserves respect for the way he fought back in the second set,” Federer said.
Federer’s only final defeat at Halle was to Lleyton Hewitt in 2010. He is bidding for his fifth title of the season after wins in Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells and Madrid.
Cilic sinks Querrey
to reach first
In London, Croatia’s Marin Cilic booked his first appearance in the final at Queen’s Club after defeating former champion Sam Querrey 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the semifinals yesterday.
Cilic is the first Croat to reach the Queen’s final since Ivo Karlovic in 2005 and will play the winner of yesterday’s other semifinal between former Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian and Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov.
After missing the first seven weeks of the season with a knee injury, Cilic has gradually rediscovered his form and his shot-making ability eventually wore down Querrey.
Querrey, the world number 77, has an impressive record at this pre-Wimbledon warm-up event, winning the title in 2010 and losing just three times in 13 matches.
But Cilic had won the only previous meeting of these two 6ft 6in big servers over five sets at Wimbledon in 2009 and he has been in fine form of late.
The world No. 25, who reached the Munich final in April, has been so dominant this week that he had only dropped serve twice during his three previous matches.
The sixth seed was soon under pressure in windy conditions, but he showed remarkable resolve to fend off nine break points in an epic third game that lasted 20 minutes.
Querrey, who needed treatment on his right thumb midway through the first set, initially seemed shell-shocked by his failure to convert so many break opportunities.
He struggled to find any rhythm and a tame forehand from the American on the first of three break points handed Cilic the chance to serve out the set.
Querrey finally recovered his equilibrium in the second set and began to put pressure on Cilic with a break in the second game. Cilic responded with a break of his own in the next game, but Querrey took the set after breaking for a second time.
A double-fault by Querrey on break point gifted Cilic a 2-0 lead in the final set.
Querrey appeared to have earned a lifeline when he broke back with Cilic just two games from victory, but the Croatian responded superbly, breaking again and then serving out the win.
Cornet into Gastein Ladies final
In Bad Gastein, Austria, Alize Cornet of France eased past Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-2 yesterday to advance to the final of the Gastein Ladies.
The third-seeded Pervak, who also lost in the semifinals last year, dropped all of her eight service games.
No. 7 Cornet, who is looking for her second career WTA title after winning in Budapest four years ago, will play either No. 2 Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium or Mandy Minella of Luxembourg in today’s final.