Federer saved match points in Halle. World number one Roger Federer saved two match points in taking another step closer to his 10th Gerry Weber Open title on Thursday, when he worked overtime to extend his grass-court winning streak to 18 matches.
The Swiss Maestro, who must retain the Halle title in order to remain at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, had to play at his very best to knock out Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(7) in one hour and 59 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals. Federer also needs to retain his Wimbledon title to stay ahead of Nadal in the ATP Rankings. Nadal wont play any tournaments on grass before this years Wimbledon.
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Federer held his nerve to avoid another third set tie-break loss this year. In March, he lost to Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-7(8), 7-6(2) in the BNP Paribas Open final and at the next ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, he fell to Thanasi Kokkinakis 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) in the Miami Open presented by Itau second round.
Federer saved 2 match points
Federer led 3/1 in the deciding-set tie-break, before Paire fought back for a 5/3 advantage and held match point chances at 6/5 and 7/6. Federer saved the first match point by hitting a tricky topspin forehand from his shoelaces, inside the service box, to land on the baseline. The Swiss struck an aggressive backhand service return deep down the middle of the court on Paire’s second match point, which the Frenchman ultimately lost with an unforced forehand error.
Federer will next play Australia’s Matthew Ebden, who beat 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany earlier in the day.
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