Roger Federer eases past Florian Mayer to reach Halle semi-finals

Serena Williams competes during the 2016 Wimbledon women’s singles which she went on to win

Serena Williams competes during the 2016 Wimbledon women’s singles which she went on to win

"I think the second part of the season will be really crucial for Andy, and Novak [Djokovic] as well".

June 23 ― Eight-time champion Roger Federer reached the quarter-finals of the Halle grass court tournament for a 15th time yesterday with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 win over German serve-and-volleyer Mischa Zverev.

Mayer squandered a 5-3 lead in the opening set before recording the lone break in each of the remaining two sets to win his match in one hour, 47 minutes. After a fantastic start to the 2017 ATP World Tour, Federer took time away to prepare for the second half of the year.

Again the Swiss had the chance to close out the match with Mayer serving at 3-5, but in the end, Federer had to do it with balls in his hand, and did so easily, 6-4. "And playing against me, all are always very motivated", Federer told the Halle Open website.

Federer, who won his first Grand Slam title since 2012 at the Australian Open in January, lost the first match of his return to German veteran Tommy Haas in Stuttgart last week.

World number nine Kei Nishikori's Wimbledon preparations suffered a setback on Thursday when he was forced to retire injured from his Halle Open round of 16 match against Russian Karen Khatchanov.

The world No38 is looking at No34 next week but if he beats Federer, he may claim a seeding at Wimbledon next week. I don't know him that well yet so it's a match where I'll most likely focus on my own game. "I'm glad I could win in two sets and have the feeling I played well".

Such invention only earned the 33-year-old a stay of execution, though, Federer holding to seal it soon afterwards with a trademark off forehand victor into empty court.

The French player next plays Roberto Bautista Agut or the fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev.

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