HALLE WESTFALEN – Roger Federer's Wimbledon preparations continue to run smoothly after he reached the final of the ATP event in Halle for a 13th time with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Andy Murray's new doubles partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Saturday.
World number 43 Herbert, 28, struggled in his first-ever meeting with 20-time major winner Federer, who is chasing a record-extending tenth title in Halle this year.
The straight-sets victory provided welcome respite for Federer, who was forced to battle through gruelling three-set encounters with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Roberto Bautista Agut earlier in the week.
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, 28, who also knocked out home favourite and world number five Alexander Zverev in the last eight on Thursday, beat Berrettini 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 to reach his first ATP Tour final since 2017.
"It's an amazing feeling. I have worked really hard in the last few months and it is paying off now," said Goffin.
The Belgian proved one challenge too many for in-form 23-year-old Berrettini, who has risen to 22 in the world rankings this season and claimed his second ATP title of the year in Stuttgart last week.
Goffin has lost seven of his eight meetings with Federer in the past, beating him in three sets at the 2017 ATP Finals in London.
"We all know how good Roger is on grass. He is incredible, but I will try to be ready to beat him," said Goffin.
"Roger has had tough matches this week against Tsonga and Bautista Agut, but as soon as he has had to play his best tennis, he has done so."AFP