• Halle Open

Federer into final ... once he finally realises

ESPN staff
June 14, 2014
Roger Federer jokingly apologises to the crowd after finally realising he had won the match © Getty Images

Roger Federer beat Kei Nishikori to reach the final of the Halle Open - though he took his time to realise.

Federer walked back to the baseline to serve after a Nishikori backhand found the net, before the six-time champion was informed that he had in fact already won.

"It was the first time in my career in over a thousand matches," joked Federer, who fired 10 aces in the 6-3 7-6(4) victory that improves his Halle record to 45-5.

Nishikori rallied to force the second set to the tiebreak, where he made a mini-break at 4-2, only to let Federer off the hook with two consecutive forehand errors.

After a first-round bye, Federer began his Wimbledon preparations by defeating Portugal's Joao Sousa on Thursday then had a walkover in the quarter-finals.

He will play Alejandro Falla in Sunday's final after the Colombian rallied to beat 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 5-7 7-6(5) 6-4 and become the first Colombian to reach the final of a grass-court tournament.

"It's an amazing feeling," Falla said. "I knew I had good chances here. I already played great matches on grass courts. It's my favorite surface."

The 69th-ranked Falla saved six of the nine break points he faced before defeating Kohlschreiber in two hours and 21 minutes.

"He took the big points and that makes the difference," Kohlschreiber said.

Sunday's final against seven-time Wimbledon champion Federer will be Falla's second on tour after he finished runner-up to Ivo Karlovic at Bogota in 2013.

"It will be nice to play Roger, maybe to get revenge for the last couple of matches on grass at the Olympics and at Wimbledon," Falla said, referring to their previous meetings in 2012 and 2010.

Federer has a 100% record from six meetings with Falla.

Federer, who made his debut at the tournament 14 years ago, will be playing for his 79th title and his seventh from 12 appearances in Halle.

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