Federer, Falla to play for Halle title


The Sports Network

Halle, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) - Roger Federer continued his quest for a seventh Halle title by beating Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in the semifinals on Saturday.

A wide shot by Nishikori gave the second-seeded Federer the lone break in the first set. The pair traded breaks of serve to begin the second set, and Federer swatted one of his 10 aces to force a tiebreak.

The fourth-seeded Nishikori held a 4-2 lead in the tiebreaker, but Federer won the final five points to close out the match and reach a ninth final at the grass-court Gerry Weber Open, a warm-up event for Wimbledon.

Federer captured four consecutive titles from 2003-06 and also prevailed in 2008 and 2013. He was the runner-up in 2010 and 2012.

Nishikori had won the previous two matches against the Swiss star, including a quarterfinal encounter at the Masters 1000 event in Miami back in March.

Federer, a seven-time Wimbledon winner, next faces Alejandro Falla, who rallied for a 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 victory over former Halle champion Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.

Falla saved six of the nine break points he faced to become the first Colombian to reach the final of a grass-court tournament.

Kohlschreiber won this event in 2011.

Federer is 6-0 lifetime against Falla, who will play in his second career final. He lost to Ivo Karlovic at his hometown event in Bogota last year.

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