Roger Federer, the world No 3, whitewashed German wildcard Mischa Zverev 6-0, 6-0 in just 39 minutes today to set up a Halle Open semi-final today with defending champion Tommy Haas, a rematch of last year’s final.
The 31-year-old Swiss, without a title so far this season, was in spectacular form on Halle’s grass courts as he dished out a double bagel for only the second time in his career.
“I feel sorry for Mischa,” said Federer, preparing to defend his Wimbledon title later this month. “This is not really how I want to win my games, it is a bit uncomfortable. Now I need to switch from today’s match to tomorrow’s difficult encounter.”
The 35-year-old Haas, who is shooting up the rankings after enjoying an injury-free season, had a much harder time against Frenchman Gaël Monfils and battled into the last four with a 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 victory. The former world No 2 failed to earn a single break point in the first set but twice got the better of Monfils in the next two sets as his serve improved.
A sizzling trademark one-handed backhand down the line gave the German a 4-2 lead in the third and the chance to serve out the match two games later.
Elsewhere, teenager Donna Vekic stormed past Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-2, 6-1 to secure a spot in the Aegon Classic semi-finals in Edgbaston – her first on British soil. The Croatian 16-year-old, who is coached by Britain’s David Felgate, and is striving to win her first WTA title, dominated Cirstea’s second serve throughout. Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova also cruised into the final four with a 6-3, 6-0 win over American Madison Keys.
Laura Robson saw her challenge surprisingly ended in the second round on Wednesday when she lost to Daniela Hantuchova. Yet the British No 1 has insisted she will rediscover her form in time for Wimbledon.
“I tend to play well in the big matches so I’m hopeful it will stay that way for Wimbledon,” Robson said. “I think all players tend to try to hit their best around the Slams and peak for those events. I practised at Wimbledon on the courts this morning so I’m getting ready and hopefully it will go well.”
Robson’s current world ranking of 37 gives her an outside chance of being seeded for her home Grand Slam.