Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Federer demolishes Zverev to win ninth Halle title

Federer demolishes Zverev to win ninth Halle title

Roger Federer reflected on a "difficult year" after beating Alexander Zverev to win a ninth Halle title as he provided the ideal platform to build upon for Wimbledon.

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates his victory after the final match against Germany's Alexander Zverev at the Gerry Weber Open tennis tournament in Halle, Germany, Sunday, June 25, 2017.

The 35-year-old, defeated in his first comeback match in Stuttgart last week, took control from the start with an early break and kept world number 12 Zverev on his toes.

His hard fought three set win means Zverev now goes on to face Roger Federer in a rematch of last year's semi-final, which the German won.

"I thought it was extremely close-especially that second set", Federer said at his press conference.

Federer won the first meeting between the two on the clay courts of Rome in 2016, winning in straight sets, but the pair's second meeting at Halle past year at the semi-final stage was won by Zverev, which he won in three sets. I love playing finals, I like big matches, and I've missed it over the (preceding) months. "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 played unbelievably well". Zverev, who lost last year's final to compatriot Florian Mayer, will be going for his fourth title of the season on Sunday.

Zverev defeated Spanish seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/1), 6-1 while Gasquet saw off Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

Federer won the first seven points of the match en route to his ninth Halle crown.

Federer and Nadal lead the ATP Tour this year with four titles each - Nadal's most recent coming in Paris, where he became the first player in the post-1967 era to win a single grand slam 10 times.

Federer described his Halle Open final opponent as a tough player to play against and described his serve as wonderful and his backhand as one of the best in the game.

"I played unbelievably well".

Gasquet will play his first Halle semi-final since 2013 against either German fourth seed Alexander Zverev or Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.

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