Federer defeats Ebden, advances to Halle semi-finals
Halle (Germany) : Swiss great Roger Federer scrapped his way to a 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 victory over Australia's Matthew Ebden and booked a berth in the semi-finals of the Gerry Weber Open, a Wimbledon tune-up event.
The world number 1, who is now just two victories away from winning his 10th Halle title and holding on to the top spot in the rankings, had an easier match on Friday compared to his Thursday's match when he staved off two match points in a narrow victory over France's Benoit Paire, Efe news reported.
Both players dominated their service games in the first set, with Ebden saving the one break point he faced and Federer losing just four points total on serve.
But the second set was a sloppy affair that featured a whopping five service breaks.
Ebden served for the set at 5-3 before Federer shifted into a higher gear to win the last four games of the contest.
For the match, the 36-year-old Swiss struck six aces and committed no double faults, compared to eight and five, respectively, for his opponent.
Federer is fine-tuning his game on the grass courts of Halle ahead of Wimbledon, which gets under way on July 2.
The Swiss maestro, holder of a record eight Wimbledon titles, will next square off at the Gerry Weber Open against American world number 109 Denis Kudla, who beat Japan's Yuichi Sugita 6-2, 7-5.