Skip to main content

Federer moves closer to winning first title of season

updated 3:34 PM EDT, Sat June 15, 2013
Roger Federer rallied to beat good friend and his doubles partner this week, Tommy Haas, to advance to the Halle final.
Roger Federer rallied to beat good friend and his doubles partner this week, Tommy Haas, to advance to the Halle final.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Roger Federer beats Tommy Haas in three sets to reach the final in Halle, Germany
  • Federer meets Mikhail Youzhny on Sunday after the Russian eased past Richard Gasquet
  • Federer is bidding to win his sixth title in Halle, a grass-court warm-up for Wimbledon
  • Andy Murray advances to Queen's final and will face defending champion Marin Cilic

(CNN) -- Roger Federer had to work a little harder than he did Friday but the 17-time grand slam champion rallied past Tommy Haas at a Wimbledon warm-up in Germany to move one match away from winning his first title of the season.

In a battle of players over 30 -- Federer turns 32 in August and Haas is 35 -- the Swiss came through 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Halle. Mikhail Youzhny awaits in the final.

In the quarterfinals, Federer dispatched Haas' fellow German, Mischa Zverev, 6-0 6-0 in under 40 minutes to register only the second 'double bagel' of his glittering career.

Read: Federer serves up double bagel

Zverev was a wildcard ranked 156th and so Federer knew he would be tested more in the last four against Haas, who beat him in the 2012 Halle finale.

"Clearly I wasn't sure how well I was really playing coming into the semis," Federer said. "Happily I was able to maintain a really high level of play.

"After losing the first set there is not much margin for error anymore."

Federer has endured a difficult campaign -- by his standards. His only other final came at May's Rome Masters on clay, where he was beaten by Rafael Nadal in straight sets.

Monica Seles is now a novelist
Kvitova: From underdog to world number 8
McEnroe: Sean Penn would play me in film

Then at the French Open he was upset by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals.

His last grand slam final came a year ago at Wimbledon when he downed home favorite Andy Murray for a seventh title at the All England Club.

Read: Federer wins seventh Wimbledon

"Honestly I'm playing pretty good for a long period of time," he said. "Clearly I'm very happy to play the final tomorrow. It is a big final for me. After this we'll focus on Wimbledon."

If Federer defeats Russia's Youzhny on Sunday -- Youzhny, too, is a veteran who turns 31 this month -- he would capture his sixth title in Halle but first since 2008.

Their head-to-head record suggests Federer should be the heavy favorite. He leads Youzhny, a 6-3 6-2 winner over second-seed Richard Gasquet on Saturday, 14-0.

Murray in London final

Center Court in Halle benefits from a roof but it's not the case at the Queen's Club in London, and the other men's Wimbledon warm-up this week has been affected by adverse weather.

More rain Saturday led to both semifinals being delayed, with organizers eventually shifting one to an outer court.

Eventually Murray, like Federer, came from a set down to progress to the final. He beat fourth-seed Tsonga 4-6 6-3 6-2 in his first event since returning from a back injury, saving two break points at 3-3 in the second set.

"I managed to turn that match around against a top player," Murray told the BBC. "He's one of the best grass-court players in the world."

Read: Murray misses French Open

At almost the same time, defending champion Marin Cilic ousted four-time tournament winner Lleyton Hewitt 6-4 4-6 6-2.

With rain expected Sunday, organizers moved the final to 12 p.m. local time, two hours earlier than originally scheduled.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
updated 2:00 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Fri March 21, 2014
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Wed March 5, 2014
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
updated 9:48 PM EST, Sat February 1, 2014
Li Na outperformed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open, but can she now surpass the Russian as the world's richest female athlete?
Roger Federer may have lost again to Rafael Nadal in the business end of a grand slam, but he can take some heart from yet another record says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 8:58 AM EST, Tue January 21, 2014
Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker -- today's tennis stars are teaming up with past legends of the game.
updated 1:59 PM EST, Wed January 15, 2014
Can't stand the heat of the first tennis grand slam of 2014? Then you clearly haven't been doing enough Bikram yoga.
After nearly a decade without any real change at the top of men's tennis, CNN's Will Edmonds looks at next generation of future stars.
updated 8:14 AM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Ana Ivanovic is still seeking to rediscover the form that took her to the top of the rankings -- but she has found a new lease of life.
updated 6:42 AM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
As a teen sensation, Bernard Tomic had the tennis world at his feet -- but he's in danger of blowing it, says Australian great Pat Rafter.
ADVERTISEMENT