Roger Federer dispatched Pierre-Hugues Herbet in a brief 62 minutes on Saturday to reach his 13th final in Halle, the grass event which he has won nine times.
The 6-3, 6-3 semi-final victory gave the 20-time Grand Slam champion Swiss a relatively easy victory after winning a pair of three-setters this week on the German grass.
” I’m ready for anything but of course I’ll take it.” Federer said. “I know it was not going to be the same like yesterday in terms of the way the points were going to be constructed and played.
“I knew it was going to be first-strike tennis. So, I’m very happy.”
Federer takes a 7-1 lead into his final with David Goffin after the Belgian defeated Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 7-6(4), 6-3 to reach his first final since 2017.
The Italian was bidding for a second straight grass final after winning Stuttgart last weekend over Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime.
World No. 3 Federer never faced a break point against Frenchman Herbert, who has made his name on the doubles court by winning all four Grand Slams with Nicolas Mahut.
But the No. 43 was not match for the polished Federer attack, with the Swiss top seed winning 20 or 24 points on serve in the first set and breaking Herbert in the French player’s last two service games to complete the win.
Federer’s convincing victory was his 67th at Halle, where he has a lifetime appearance contract. He lost the final here a year ago to Borna Coric.
“It’s another final on top of all the finals that I’ve played here, and I get another chance after last year’s loss.
“After my loss last year I didn’t know if I was going to ever be in another Halle final.. you always leave with a bittersweet taste where you had a good tournament and yet you’re frustrated you lost the finals.
“I’m happy I’ve got another opportunity to win this tournament I like so much, and of course it will be special to win a tournament for the first time ten times.
“But, there will be somebody tough in the final to make my life difficult.
“I’m really just going to be trying to focus on the match. I know it sounds boring but that’s what I’ve got to do, block out all the rest.”
Goffin, who lost a title bid at the 2017 ATP Finals in London, cut off Berrettini’s winning run on grass at eight matches as he prevailed in their first-time meeting in 97 minutes.
The Belgian winner handed his opponent a second career semi-final loss, with Berrettini standing a respectable 4-2 at that level.
“It was a great feeling on the court today, my serve helped me again today,” Goffin said.
“I’m serving well this week and playing well, more aggressive. I’m hitting the ball really well.
“It’s a great feeling this week to be in the final, my first final on grass in a 500. The way I’ve worked the last weeks is paying off this week.”
The win gave Goffin a boost after losing his last six ATP semi-finals since defeating Federer at the London year-ender two years ago.
Goffin withstood 14 Berrettini aces and was never broken.