Generation game as Federer faces Zverev for Halle title

Federer won the first meeting between the two on the clay courts of Rome in 2016, winning in straight sets, but the pair's second meeting at Halle previous year at the semi-final stage was won by Zverev, which he won in three sets.

Federer skipped the entire clay court season to preserve his powers for the grass campaign and he looked as smooth as silk on the Halle grass in a first set which lasted 21 minutes.

World number five Federer, who will go in search of an eighth Wimbledon title when the third grand slam of the year starts a week on Monday, broke the unseeded Khachanov three times and saved two set points in the second to reach yet another final.

Roger Federer says clinching the fourth seed at Wimbledon was not an extra motivation at the Gerry Weber Open.

"It was perhaps not always very lovely to watch, but it's good to be in the final in the second tournament after my return".

Federer won the first seven points of the match en route to his ninth Halle crown.

Prior to Sunday's final, Zverev hailed "Roger (Federer) the best player of all time on grass" and it seemed like the youngster was overawed by the moment, standing face-to-face with his childhood idol. He has not dropped a set along his way to the finals and also defeated Zverev's older brother Mischa to make this far into the tournament. He's playing really good tennis. The match was the quickest final in the history of the Halle Open.

Zverev booked his second successive final spot when he beat Frenchman Gasquet 4-6 6-4 6-3.

Federer had already won the Australian Open before titles in Indian Wells and Miami in 2017.

"You could have been a bit nicer and allowed me a couple more points", Zverev joked to his idol.

Federer required just 53 minutes as he destroyed Zverev and will be much fancied to continue his superb form in 2017 when he arrives in Wimbledon as the number three seed.

Petra Kvitova, the two-time Wimbledon champion who is making a courageous comeback from injury, will face unseeded giant-killer Ashleigh Barty in the final of the Birmingham grass court tournament.

"The future belongs to him", Federer said.

  • Rosalie Stanley