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Federer struggles for 11th Gerry Weber final

Roger Federer will play in an 11th Gerry Weber Open final in Halle  on Sunday after battling  past  21 year-old Russian Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6(5) in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Khachanov turned professional in 2013 and is ranked 38th.

To qualify for the semi final, he beat Andrey Rublev 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 16 minutes on Friday.

The 21-year-old Khachanov right hander,  is currently third in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan, looking to qualify for the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan at the end of the year. He won his first ATP World Tour title in Chengdu in October 2016 (d. Ramos-Vinolas),

Federer will go for his ninth title in the German city, which would mark the first time he has won a tournament as many times. The 35-year-old Swiss first reached the Halle final in 2003, beating German Nicolas Kiefer for the crown.

But Federer hasn’t played for the trophy at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament since 2015. On Sunday, he will meet either German Alexander Zverev or Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

Federer lost to Zverev in last year’s Halle semi-finals but beat the German last year in Rome. Federer leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Gasquet 15-2.

The World No. 5 has yet to drop a set in Halle this week. He improved his all-time record at the tournament to 58-6 and is 23-2 on the season. Federer has reached the final in four of his six tournaments this year.

*Source: ATPworldTour.com

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