Federer to go for 6th Halle title vs. Haas

Updated 17 June 2012
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Federer to go for 6th Halle title vs. Haas

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
Queen’s final
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.

 


Liverpool's Andrew Robertson ready for Roma Champions League test

Updated 23 April 2018
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Liverpool's Andrew Robertson ready for Roma Champions League test

  • Young Scottish star was very impressive during Liverpool's 5-1 aggregate destruction of Man City in last-eight clash.
  • Robertson refuses to take Roma lightly after their shock victory over Barcelona in the last round.

LIVERPOOL: With a desire stoked in the stands of Parkhead, Andrew Robertson is now fired up to fulfil a childhood dream.
While following the fortunes of Celtic, the defender’s first Champions League final memory was when Zinedine Zidane volleyed Real Madrid to success in 2002 as the contest was staged in Robertson’s home city of Glasgow. He was just eight years old.
While Robertson was deemed too small to play for his boyhood idols, released at 15 with a future uncertain, he has grown to prove his worth on Europe’s biggest club stage with Liverpool.
Now, with a semifinal encounter against AS Roma after beating Premier League champions Manchester City in the last eight, he wants to emulate those Reds heroes who lifted the trophy five times before.
“I was a big Celtic fan growing up and my heroes were Henrik Larsson and Co,” Robertson told Arab News ahead of tonight’s first-leg clash 
at Anfield.
“But these heroes who have won the European Cup and Champions League for Liverpool, you have to look up to them — and we want to emulate them and hopefully get a winner’s medal too.
“The club’s won it five times and the history of the club has always been this, the Champions League, where the fans create a special atmosphere and the club challenges for the trophy. It would be unbelievable to be a part of that history.
“This is the highlight for me so far and an incredible feeling, but it just makes you hungry for more. I don’t want it to end.
“As a kid, you sit back and watch how great it would be to play in this competition, let alone in the final.
“I always used to go to Celtic and we didn’t progress very far in the Champions League, but the occasions at Parkhead were always unbelievable.
“The fans at Celtic are incredible, world renowned, but Anfield was unbelievable against Man City and we have another chance for them to create that same atmosphere and hopefully we can put in another great performance.”
Having beaten Pep Guardiola’s City so convincingly, 5-1 over two gripping games, Liverpool will start favorites against Roma.
That is despite the Italians upsetting Barcelona in the previous round with an epic 3-0 win in the second leg after a 4-1 loss at the Nou Camp.
But Robertson will take nothing for granted against a Roma side who last reached the final in 1984 where they were beaten by Liverpool in a penalty shootout at their Stadio Olimpico home.
“Barca are an unbelievable team,” added the Scotland left-back, 24. “But let’s not kid ourselves. For Roma to score three goals against Barcelona, that’s special.
“They’ve been unbelievable this season too in the Champions League and deserve to be in the semifinals. It will definitely not be an easy game.
“But once you get to the semis, the fear of who you are playing has gone because you know how good the teams are.
“It’s like you look forward to the possibility of playing in the final, that’s what drives you forward. We will have fire in our bellies because we are so close to getting there.”
Jurgen Klopp’s men will no doubt be looking to Mohamed Salah to conjure more magic against the club he left in the summer for £36.9 million ($51.5 million).
But Robertson insisted Liverpool are no one-man team and the Egyptian, crowned PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night after scoring 41 goals in an unforgettable campaign, epitomizes a team united and ambitious in their quest for glory.
“He’s just unbelievable,” said Robertson of the frontman.
“In the first half (of the second leg) against Man City we struggled to get him in the game and he wasn’t quite at it. But the second half he was different class and pops up with a goal to help us win it. That’s what he does.
“His goals have been incredible and long may that continue. He’s a great guy, so humble, and for someone who has done so much this season he’s so down to Earth.
“That’s credit to our squad because we don’t let anyone get ahead of themselves.
“Mo is no different, he’s a lovely person and stands for what we are as a team.”

 

HEART OF GOLD

Five years ago Andrew Robertson was playing in the fourth tier of Scottish football with Queen’s Park and earning extra money by selling concert tickets in the corporate offices at Hampden Park.
Last summer he suffered relegation from the Premier League with Hull City before Liverpool signed him for £10 million ($13.9 million).
In a career fraught with setbacks and hardships, he has been grateful, supporting foodbanks that help those in need.
“It’s all about giving something back to the less fortunate,” said Robertson.
“I’m in a fortunate position where I do a job I love and get paid well and it’s nice to give something back, especially in my hometown. I’ll always do that.
“It’s been a great journey for me in my career, and I’ve enjoyed every minute. But I don’t forget where I came from. Maybe it is rare, but a lot more people are doing it now and I hope even more will.”