Roger Federer has extended his standing order for the finals at the GERRY WEBER OPEN for a further year. In a hard fought Semifinal the World's No. 1 was able to win thanks to his enormous effectiveness 7:6 (1) and 7:5 against the US-American and surprising Semis-participant Denis Kudla. On Sunday he be in the last match at Germany's largest grass court tournament for the 12 time and is looking for his 10th title in Halle and his 99th tournament victory of his career.
Federer made it clear from the start who he thought was in charge at the GERRY WEBER STADION and served three aces in his first service game. The Swiss' return was simalarly aggressive to the returns in his Quarterfinal against Matthew Ebden and broke Kudla's service promtly. But instead to now go through smoothly and win the set, Federer self-inflicted problems. Two, three unconcentrated moves from the baseline and the well-played break was lost again. Both players profited by their first service. Especially favourite Federer got his service through without any problems at all. Most interesting: Denis Kudla met the nine-times title-holder at the GERRY WEBER OPEN with a lot of courage and enjoyment. He never seemed a bit nervous in his just second Semifinal of the tour.
Just like the day before the first set had to be decided in a tiebreak. A disciplin in which the Maestro is known to be nearly untouchable in Halle. This time the World's No. 1 held a gala performance and only left the clearly at this stage overstrained Denis Kudla one point. Federer decided the first set after exactly 40 minutes with a service winner. It was the first set which Kudla had lost at the GERRY WEBER OPEN 2018.
The US-boy was not impressed though and not only put up a hard fight against the World's No. 1 but also had the first break chances. Time and time again he shook up the balance of the man from Switzerland with his precise shots and Federer even lost his nerve a bit and shot the ball under the roof of the stadium after losing a point and was warned for this. The title holder was lacking explosiveness in his game. The pressure of eight matches in the last ten days were showing. Kudla got bolder, was the better player in this phase, but became exasperated with his opponents' routine, in a total of five break chances, three of them in a row. And he showed his expertise in effectiveness: in the eleventh game the Swiss found the exact time to break. After just another few minutes, the man from Switzerland was celebrated by the fans in the packed GERRY WEBER STADION for his 20th victory on a grass court in a row. And Qualifier Kudla, too, got a big round of applause for his achievement.
"Denis has played an excellent tournament and made it difficult for me. I was a bit frustated all week. So I am of course very glad to have made it", Federer expressed in a ZDF interview.
Incidentally, regardless who Federer meets, he has neither ever lost to Roberto Bautista Agut or Borna Coric.