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8-time champ Federer beats Zverev for Halle quarterfinal

25 June 2017

Roger Federer fired an ominous warning to his rivals for Wimbledon glory by thrashing Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-3 to claim a record ninth title at the Gerry Weber Open.

Alexander Zverev is coming off a three sets win over Richard Gasquet that took 29 games to decide.

You could make a case for either side, but I'm giving the edge to Federer, as he's just too consistent and still pounces on any mistakes his opponent makes.

It was a gutsy save from Zverev as he sent down a big second serve to save it but a second one quickly followed for Federer, who produced a stunning forehand victor down the line with the German at the net. Federer has reached the final in four of his six tournaments this year.

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At 5-4 down in the opening set, Zverev would rally to save three set points to eventually force a tiebreaker.

The 18-time major champion was in irresistible form and he brought up two break points after a scintillating rally.

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.

Federer will face Florian Mayer in the quarter-finals following his 6-7 (6/8) 6-4 6-3 victory over the sixth-seeded Lucas Pouille. Despite winning in straight sets, Federer acknowledged that Russian youngster Karen Khachanov pushed him to the limits in their semi-final match.

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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.

"I don't really know what to say, that was fantastic", Zverev said.

I had lots of chances to even go up a double break in the second set. The best players were in the final and Rafa once again cemented himself as maybe the greatest clay-court player of all time.

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