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Federer to meet Goffin in 'special' 13th Halle final

June 24, 2019 00:00:00

Roger Federer from Switzerland reacting after he won his match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert from France at the ATP Tennis Tournament in Halle, western Germany on Saturday — AFP

HALLE WESTFALEN, June 23 (AFP): Roger Federer said it was a "special" feeling to reach the final of the ATP event in Halle for a 13th time after beating Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3, 6-3 in Saturday's semi-final.

Federer is chasing a record-extending tenth title at the pre-Wimbledon grass court event this year, having suffered a surprise defeat to Croatian Borna Coric in last year's final.

"It is very, very special. I am glad I got another chance this year, because last year I really didn't know if I would ever play another Halle final," he said.

World number 43 Herbert, 28, struggled in his first-ever meeting with 20-time major winner Federer, who is hoping to win a ninth Wimbledon title next month.

The straight-sets victory provided welcome respite for the Swiss star, who was forced to battle through gruelling three-set encounters with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Roberto Bautista Agut earlier in the week.

"I feel in a similar situation to last year. I was perhaps more tired last year because I had played in Stuttgart the week before," said Federer.

"I hope I can call on that extra bit of energy, because I am going to need it tomorrow."

The 37-year-old Swiss will face David Goffin in the final, after the Belgian fought to victory over rising Italian star Matteo Berrettini earlier on Saturday.

"Goffin plays well from the back of the court, he plays aggressively and returns well," said Federer.

Goffin, 28, who knocked out home favourite and world number five Alexander Zverev in the last eight, beat Berrettini 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 to reach his first ATP Tour final since 2017.

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