Federer beats defending champ Mayer to earn Halle semifinal

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Getting closer to his ninth title at the Halle grass court tournament, Swiss marvel Roger Federer on Saturday defeated Russian opponent Karen Khachanov in the semi-finals at Gerry Weber Stadion in Germany.

Federer has already won three title titles this season, including the Australian Open - his first Grand Slam success in five years.

Mayer was a 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-3 victor over sixth seed Lucas Pouille, while wildcard Andrey Rublev beat Mikhail Youzhny in an all-Russian second round match and will now face another compatriot in the form of Khachanov. The victory was Zverev's that day, with the young German defeating Gasquet 7-6 6-3.

Germany's Alexander Zverev prepares to serve to Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarterfinal of the ATP tournament in Halle, Germany, Friday, June 23, 2017.

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It worked for him all through the first set, which he stretched to a tiebreak.

The world number 12 booked his final spot after breaking at 3-3 and finishing the Frenchman off with another break to set up the showdown with Federer. Federer held all 11 of his service games without facing a break point to prevail in one hour and 30 minutes.

Haase saved three set points en route to a 6-3 7-6 (9/7) victory, which secures his first quarter-final in Halle at the fifth attempt. Zverev reached the final previous year but lost to Mayer.

Federer has yet to drop a set in Halle this week. The 19-year-old Rublev, who received a wild card for the grass-court tournament, will face another Russian in Karen Khachanov in the next round. The world number five created his fourth set point with a backhand return victor down the line, and he claimed the opening set with a backhand victor down the line to claim it 7-6 (4) in 53 minutes.

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