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Federer chases 99th title, faces Coric in Halle final

Federer chases 99th title, faces Coric in Halle final

Federer gained the crucial service break for a 6-5 lead as Kudla returned long, and the Swiss closed out the victory a game later on the first of two match points.

The heavily favored Federer was pushed a little by American qualifier Denis Kudla but the Swiss was too sharp and too strong in the end during the 7-6 (1), 7-5 victory.

Federer, who won in Stuttgart last week, remains on track for back-to-back titles ahead of his Wimbledon defence next month after his 89-minute victory.

Federer, who saved two match points against Benoit Paire in the second round on Thursday, is going for a record-extending 10th title in Halle.

Croatia's Borna Coric on Saturday advanced to the Halle Open final after his Spanish opponent Roberto Bautista Agut was forced to withdraw due to physical issues.

"You need to take the right decisions along the way", Federer said of the dramatic tiebreaker. "I'm playing a lot of matches at the moment". "I was fortunate to have made it today".

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"Denis has played an excellent tournament and made it hard for me", Federer said. "It was good to get back to competition at Queen's this week and I'm hoping to build on that next week".

After a firm beginning, defending champion stumbled a little in the first set which went on till tie-breaker.

The victory in just under two hours left Federer with a flawless 6-0 record over Paire, who angrily slashed his racket across the grass in moments of desperation, drawing jeers from the crowd.

Nick Kyrgios smashed 32 aces in a 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-3 win over Kyle Edmund in another match.

The 21-year-old won 81 percent of his first serves and struck 20 winners in a dominant performance to book a place in the quarter-finals.