Tennis: Federer will go for 99th singles title against Coric

Roger Federer applauds the fans after defeating Denis Kudla to reach the final of the Gerry Weber Open tennis tournament in Halle, Germany, on Saturday.
(Friso Gentsch / Associated Press)

Defending champion Roger Federer will play 21-year-old Borna Coric in the Gerry Weber Open final, with the chance to win his 99th career singles title on Sunday.

Federer reached his 12th final in Halle after beating qualifier Denis Kudla 7-6 (1), 7-5 on Saturday.

Coric advanced after fourth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut retired injured in their semifinal. The Spaniard was leading 3-2 in the first set.


Federer fired 12 aces and saved six of the seven break points he faced to end Kudla’s 10-set winning streak in Halle. The American had three break points when he was leading 4-3 in the second set, but Federer fought back and finished the set with two successive aces.

The 25-year-old Kudla had saved 20 of 21 break points on his way to the semifinals at the grass-court tournament.

Federer, who saved two match points against Benoit Paire in the second round on Thursday, is going for a record-extending 10th title in Halle. It will be his second final in as many weeks.

The Swiss great, who won his 18th grass-court title in Stuttgart, Germany, on Sunday, is just two match wins away from matching Jimmy Connors’ all-time record of 174 victories on grass. After skipping the entire clay-court season for the second year in a row, Federer extended his grass-court winning streak to 20 matches, including Stuttgart and last year’s titles at Halle and Wimbledon. The revitalized 36-year-old only had a longer streak on the surface once before, when he won 65 consecutive matches on grass between 2003 and 2008.

Cilic reaches second straight Queen’s Club final

Marin Cilic reached a second straight Queen’s Club final after defeating Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) in London on Saturday.


The top-seeded Croat raised his game when it mattered most, winning both tiebreakers in a match that featured no breaks of serve.

Cilic, who won Queen’s in 2012 before finishing as runner-up in 2013 and last year, will face either Novak Djokovic or Jeremy Chardy in Sunday’s final.

Rybarikova back in Birmingham final

Magdalena Rybarikova, the grass-court expert whose career was in danger of ending after wrist and knee surgeries, overcame Barbora Strycova 7-6 (1), 6-4 Saturday to reach the final of the Birmingham Classic in Birmingham, England, for a second time.

It was further proof of a remarkable recovery for the Slovak from a ranking of 453 early last year, which has been followed by a Wimbledon semifinal and a chance of regaining a title she won nine years ago.