Aisamul Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer stormed into the final of the Gerry Weber Open with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Lukasz Kubot and Mikhail Youzhny in the semi-final yesterday.
In the singles event, five-time champion Roger Federer will face German Tommy Haas in the final after the two tour veterans clinched straight-sets semi-finals wins.
Federer reached the Halle final for the seventh time after a 6-1, 6-4 victory against unseeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny. Wildcard Haas, a former world number two, defeated compatriot Philipp Kohlschreiber, the quarter-final conqueror of Rafael Nadal, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5, and admitted later it was a mystery how he managed to reach the final.
“The key for me was coming back from 0-40 then holding that and going 4-1,” said Federer. “That was a big 10 minutes for me and then, once in the lead, I played a bit more aggressive and he was missing quite a few shots, making it easier for me.
“Overall, I think I played a good tough solid match, especially after yesterday’s shoot-out (against Raonic).”
Federer’s previous victories in Halle came in 2003-06 and again in 2008, while he also lost the final to Lleyton Hewitt in 2010.
Haas, the 2009 champion when he beat Djokovic, admitted he had been surprised by his run.
“It’s unexpected, it’s a bit of mystery how I got here. But I am delighted to be playing good tennis at Halle,” said Haas. The 34-year-old, who will be playing his first final since beating Djokovic at the same venue in 2009, has won just two of his 12 matches against Federer. Two of his defeats came in the Halle semi-finals in 2005 and 2006.
Cilic to face Nalbandian in Queen’s final
Former Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian will face Croatia’s Marin Cilic in the final at Queen’s Club after defeating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-4 in the semi-finals.
Nalbandian reached the Wimbledon final in 2002 before losing to Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt and 10 years later he is back in the final of a grass-court event for the first time since that memorable run at the All England Club. The 30-year-old Argentine, seeded 10th, drew on his vast experience to subdue rising star Dimitrov and complete a remarkable run of three wins in 48 hours.
After rain caused a fixture pile-up on Friday, Nalbandian showed impressive durability to come from a set down to win against Edouard Roger-Vasselin and then Xavier Malisse. Despite such a gruelling schedule, Nalbandian showed no signs of tiredness against Dimitrov and his reward is a first appearance in the Queen’s final and his first ATP Tour final since Auckland in January 2011.
Dimitrov’s fluid style and shot-making ability have drawn comparisons with Federer, but the 21-year-old is only just beginning to fulfill his potential. He cried tears of joy after surviving a barrage from big-serving Kevin Anderson to reach his first ATP semi-final, but this time he left the court shaking his head in frustration after a nervous display.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2012.
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