Halle (Germany): Roger Federer reached the Halle grass-court final for the 10th time after beating giant Croatian Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4) in Saturday’s semi-finals.
Roger Federer celebrates a point during the Weber Open semi-final against Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic at Halle on Saturday PIC/AFP
The Swiss, who has won the title seven times, will go on to face Italy’s Andreas Seppi, who advanced at the expense of Kei Nishikori after the Japanese retired injured when trailing 4-1 in the first set. World number two and top seed Federer needed two tie-breaks to claim a 13th win in 14 meetings with Karlovic. The Croat, who stands 2.11m (6ft 11in) tall, had battered down 45 aces in his quarter-final victory against Czech Tomas Berdych on Friday but against Federer he managed a mere 21.
“It is always difficult to play against Ivo but the important thing was that I remained calm,” Federer said. “I was very lucky in the first set and so I’m all the more delighted to be in the final again.” Federer is chasing a 15th title on grass as he warms up for Wimbledon, which begins on June 29.
Seppi, the world number 45 who last won a title in 2012, was in control of the first set of his match against Nishikori when the Japanese succumbed to an apparent calf problem. He won his quarter-final against Gael Monfils on Friday when the Frenchman retired injured in the second set after crashing into an advertising board beside the court. Federer has only lost once in 12 previous meetings with Seppi, although that came in the third round of this year's Australian Open.