Roger Federer into final of ATP event in Halle
Federer will play Alejandro Falla of Colombia in final
Grigor Dimitrov and Feliciano Lopez in Queen's Final in London
Dimitrov beats Stanislas Wawrinka in semifinal upset
Roger Federer warmed up for another tilt at Wimbledon by reaching the final of the grass court warmup tournament at Halle for the ninth time with a straight sets victory over Japan’s Kei Nishikori Saturday.
The 32-year-old Swiss will play Colombia’s Alejandro Falla in the title match, but Federer’s Davis Cup teammate Stanislas Wawrinka will be kicking his heels Sunday after being upset by Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the semifinals of the Queen’s Club event in London.
Top seed Wawrinka, the Australian Open champion, lost 6-2 6-4 to Dimitrov, who has been compared in playing style to Federer, although both dislike the tag of “Baby Federer” he has earned in media circles.
Dimitrov, the boyfriend of French Open champion Maria Sharapova, is forging a reputation in his own right after three ATP titles since last October and he had too much firepower for Wawrinka
He broke him early in the first set and was never headed, admitting afterwards that reaching the final of the prestigious event was one of his ambitions.
“I always wanted to be in a final out here, stepping on there on Sunday means a lot to me, especially out here,” he told the ATP Tour website.
“I don’t know why I have such a strong intuition about this tournament. It has always been one of the biggest events for me, for some reason. There’s nothing better than to be in the final.”
The 23-year-old Bulgarian will face Feliciano Lopez of Spain Sunday after the Spaniard saw off Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 7-6 6-4 in the other semifinal.
Stepanek, who beat home hope Andy Murray in the second round, lost a narrow first set tiebreaker 9-7 and a single break of his service was enough to see Lopez home in one hour 42 minutes.
Meanwhile Federer, back on his favorite grass, needed just 73 minutes to fend off Nishikori 6-3 7-6 and will be bidding for his seventh title at the Gerry Weber Open tournament.
“I’m extremely happy with the way I played today,” the 17-time grand slam champion told the ATP Tour website after he avenged a defeat to Nishikori in Miami earlier this year.
“I think I played really aggressive, I served well when I had to and I was able to keep the pressure on Kei and at the end I think I deserved to win.”
Falla upset home favorite Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first semifinal, but it took two hours 22 minutes to come through 5-7 7-6 6-4 against the 2011 champion.
He is the first South American to reach the final in the 22-year history of the tournament and the first left-hander since Petr Korda in 1997.