FedererOn Friday, Roger Federer defeated Germany’s Florian Mayer to enter the semifinal of the Gary Weber Open at Halle in Germany. He will now take on Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, whose barrage of 45 aces sunk Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych in the other quarterfinal. If Federer wins at Halle, it will be the eighth time that he would hold the champion’s trophy. In the Aegon Championships at London’s Queen’s Club, triple title holder Andy Murray had to struggle against Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller, who displayed crafty grass-court skills and took a set from Murray before the Scot came through in a hard-fought match. To enter the final, Murray will have to get past Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, who stymied USA’s John Isner in two sets in the other quarterfinal.

Roger Federer is slowly moving to break another record of his illustrious tennis career, spanning over a decade. He has already won Halle’s Gary Weber Open seven times and his victory this year will make it 8 times. In his match against local hope Florian Mayer, Federer began by a first-set bagel against the German but was stretched to the tiebreak in the second. In the first set, Federer struck 14 winners and won each of the six points on the German’s second serve to move ahead 6-0. The German, however, was a different player in the second set as he pushed the big Swiss to his limits and after saving two break points took the second set to a tie-break. But once the tiebreak ensued, Federer took command and ended the tiebreak at 7-1 and walked off to a 6-0, 7-6 victory.

In his match against Ivo Karlovic on Saturday, Federer cannot hope for any more bagels as the Croat is famous for his big serves and ace-record. Karlovic gave an ample demonstration of his big-serving ability against Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych in the other quarterfinal in sending down 45 aces in a match, which the Croat won 7-5, 6-7, 6-3. This ace record surpassed 44 for best-of-three-sets matches held by Australian Mark Philippoussis and shared with Karlovic. The world record for any singles match is held by USA’s John Isner, who sent down 113 against Nicolas Mahut in winning his marathon Wimbledon match in 2010. Incidentally Mahut had also served 103 aces.

In Friday’s other actions at Halle, no.2 seed Kei Nishikori got past Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in 2½ hours. The Japanese next plays Italian Andreas Seppi, who moved to the semifinal, when no.4 seed Frenchman Gael Monfils pulled out due to injury with Seppi leading 6-1, 1-0. In men’s doubles semi-final, the unseeded pair of Raveen Klaasen (South Africa)/Rajeev Ram (USA) defeated no.1 seeds Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau 7-6), 3-6, 11-9. In the final the South-African/American pair will either meet Eric Butorac/Scott Lipsky or Rohan Bopanna/Florin Mergea.

At Queen’s Club, 3-time champion Andy Murray had a hard time against Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller before he could advance to the semi-finals. Muller looked a better player in the first two sets and if Murray had not stepped up his game in the second-set tiebreak, he could have lost to Muller. However, the Briton prevailed in tiebreak and broke Muller once in third set to register a 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory. The Scot will now take on Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, who defeated USA’s John Isner 7-6, 7-5, 6-3 in another quarter-final. On Saturday, the other semifinal will be played between South Africa’s Kevin Anderson and Frenchman Gilles Simon.