Roger Federer eased a step closer to a ninth title at the Halle grass court tournament when he saw off defending champion, Germany's Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-4 in today’s quarter-final.
Federer to face Russian Khachanov on Saturday
The world number five, building up to an assault on an possible eighth Wimbledon title next month, will now face Karen Khachanov, who defeated fellow Russian Andrey Rublev 7-6 (10/8), 4-6, 6-3.
The 35-year-old has yet to drop a set after three matches in Halle this week while his win on Friday took his head-to-head record against Mayer to 8-0, with five of those wins coming on grass.
“It was important to be aggressive off the baseline and make him feel my variation and the power I can bring to the court”, Federer said after the game. “And then having good footwork, to see the short ball, the floater, where I can come in and knock it off with a volley. I think I did it very well. I had lots of chances to even go up a double break in the second set”.
Federer, who hit 11 aces and 32 winners, said facing Khachanov, who he has never played previously - at least competitively, will present a new challenge for him. “It’s going to be interesting. He's big and strong and seems super excited to be on tour and he's working hard. I don't know him that well yet so it's a match where I'll most likely focus on my own game. Make sure I serve well, because he can go through spells where he can serve big. It could be somewhat similar to how I played today”.