Federer chases 99th title, faces Coric in Halle final

Benoit Paire

Borna Coric will now face Federer in the final after Roberto Bautista Agut was forced to retire with an injury after a nasty fall, with the Spaniard leading 3-2 in the first set. Bautista, the fourth seed, was leading 3-2 in the first set after 23 minutes of competition when he chose to withdraw after consulting the tournament physiotherapist, reports Efe.

Federer, seeking his 99th tournament victory on the ATP World Tour with Wimbledon looming, started as a hot favourite in Saturday's first semi-final in Halle.

Federer will play Matthew Ebden, who knocked out Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6 6-1 6-2, meaning there are only two seeds remaining in the tournament.

The 20-time grand slam victor required a tie-break in the first set and took his time to shake off Ebden in the second, progressing 7-6 (7-2) 7-5.

The Swiss, who needs to win a 10th title at the German event to retain his world number one ranking, won 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 against the American qualifier.

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Nick Kyrgios smashed 32 aces in a 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-3 win over Kyle Edmund in another match.

The Swiss great, who won his 18th grass-court title in Stuttgart on Sunday, is just two match wins away from matching Jimmy Connors' all-time record of 174 victories on grass.

With this win, Federer extended his winning streak on the grass-court to 19 matches.

With Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem already out of the competition, Federer's path towards a second consecutive Halle title is clearing - and that continued on Thursday. Betting on the under 2.5 sets is also a good bet since I don't see Roger Federer losing a set in this match. "I played Davis Cup there in 2006 and I know the courts and facilities there are excellent".

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