National News, Federer edges Paire to advance in Halle


Federer, who saved two match points against Benoit Paire in the second round the day before, recovered to go 6-5 up and then broke Ebden to take his first match point for a meeting with American qualifier Denis Kudla.

World number one Roger Federer was tested once again in Halle but did enough to overpower Australian Matthew Ebden 7-6 (2) 7-5 in the quarter-finals on Friday.

Playing his eighth match in less than two weeks, the 36-year-old Federer seemed clearly worn out but showed great mental strength to save five break points in the second set.

He will face Roberto Bautista Agut or Borna Coric in Sunday's final.

The 36-year-old won Saturday's semi-final, 7-6 (7-1) 7-5.

With Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem already out of the competition, Federer's path towards a second consecutive Halle title is clearing - and that continued on Thursday.

Ebden did not make it easy for Federer, staying with the Swiss into the first-set tie-breaker.

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But the top-ranked Swiss took the next three points to close the match in just under two hours at the grass-court tournament.

Federer's preparations in the build-up to the defence of his Wimbledon title had been running smoothly, with a title last week in Stuttgart and a solid opening Halle win for the top seed.

Nick Kyrgios smashed 32 aces in a 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-3 win over Kyle Edmund in another match.

Federer has now won his last 20 matches on grass, and he comes off a title just last week in Stuttgart.

Taking everything into consideration, I am expecting Roger Federer to win this match and take home the ATP Halle title.

"I created quite a few opportunities, but maybe I was a bit tentative at times", Federer said.