"I would say that's the best performance I've seen from Roger Federer this season", Barry Cowan applauds the 18-time Grand Slam champion after his flawless display of grass-court tennis in Halle. The Stuttgart defeat was the first time Federer had lost his opening match at a grass-court tournament since 2002 Wimbledon.
The 28-ranked Khachanov fired a backhand long in the breaker to send Federer through to a showdown with Zverev.More news: Trump signs 'historic' bill to transform VA
Federer won 6-3, 7-5 last spring at the Rome Masters before Zverev pulled off a 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-3 upset in the Halle semifinals. I think I did it very well.
Zverev, who beat the Swiss in last year's semi-final and has already won three titles this year, had a chance to break at the start of the second set.
"Everything has been geared toward that for the past 12 months and I'm happy with how I feel at the moment", said Federer, who will be going for his 92nd career title in what will be his 140th final. According to odds makers, the 35-year-old Federer enters the 2017 Wimbledon as the favourite, closely followed reigning champion Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Federer, an eight-time champion in Halle, had 11 aces, saved both break points he faced and converted two of his own to maintain his bid for a 16th grass-court title.More news: Share of global index delivers breakthrough for China
Here, we look at how Federer has gone onto fare at SW19 down the years after winning Halle. Khachanov however, was able to see it out, taking the final set 6-3, for a 7-6 4-6 6-3 victory.
"I thought I was very calm out there, even in hard moments".
"For the others, I think Andy (Murray) was just extremely exhausted after getting to World number 1 at the end of a year ago". He improved his all-time record at the tournament to 58-6 and is 23-2 on the season.More news: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered Standalone Release Confirmed