Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Federer crushes Zverev to clinch ninth Halle title


Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates after beating Germany's Florian Mayer in the quarterfinal of the ATP tournament in Halle, Germany, Friday, June 23, 2017.

The Swiss maestro arrived in Halle on the back of a disappointing first-round loss to fellow veteran Tommy Haas in Stuttgart, but was in imperious form this week and did not drop a set en route to a ninth title at the tournament.

Zverev managed to hold his serve at the third opportunity, but Federer broke again at 5-1 to claim the first set in just 22 minutes.

Federer will bid for his 92nd career title in what will be his 140th final against the fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev, who rallied to beat Richard Gasquet 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 for his seventh title-decider.

Lopez, whose last tournament win was at Gstaad previous year, has never got past the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

However, 21-year-old Khachanov rallied and force two set points which would have taken the match into a decider before Federer, an 18-time Grand Slam victor, closed out the tie-break.

"I think going into Wimbledon he's going to be probably the favorite to win the whole thing", Zverev said of Federer.

Federer won 26 of 28 of his first-serve points, clinching his 16th grass-court title after only 53 minutes with a backhand volley victor.

The Croatian had grabbed the only break of the match to take the first set, but could not convert either of two break point chances in the second set.

The 20-year-old Zverev had no answer to Federer's inch-perfect execution and was broken three times in a lightning-fast first set.

Federer dismissed home hope Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-3 in just 53 minutes as the 35-year-old resumed his domination of a tournament that has become his favoured warm-up for the south-west London grand slam.

"You could have been a bit nicer and allowed me a couple more points", Zverev joked to his idol. Now boasting a 23-2 record in 2017, Federer has been on fire in the calendar year so far with wins in the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami. I love playing finals, I like big matches, and I've missed it over the (preceding) months.

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