Roger Federer stays on track for eighth Halle title

Halle, Germany: Roger Federer kept his chances of an eighth title at Halle on track when he overpowered Latvian Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 7-5 on Wednesday to breeze into the quarter-finals.

Roger Federer. Pic/AFP
Roger Federer. Pic/AFP 

The 33-year-old, 17-time Grand Slam winner was pushed to three sets in the previous round by German hope Philipp Kohlschreiber but had fewer problems with Gulbis.

He will now meet Germany's Florian Mayer who defeated American Steve Johnson 6-3, 7-6 (7/4). Defending champion Federer has reached the final of the last nine editions of the grasscourt Wimbledon tune-up, winning seven.

The iconic Swiss right-hander took advantage of one of his two break opportunites to snatch the first set and never looked back as he broke at 6-5 in the second to set up a winning chance.

He closed out the match in style as he improved his record for the season to 30 wins against six defeats just days after losing a Roland Garros quarter-final against eventual champion and compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka.

Federer has won 85 tournaments in a glittering career including three this season at Brisbane, Dubai and Istanbul.

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