ATP Queens, Halle Finals Preview: Federer v Falla, Dimitrov v Lopez

1. Roger Federer v Alejandro Falla (ATP Halle, F)

Federer

Roger Federer defeated Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals of Halle to book his spot once more in the final match.  This is Federer’s ninth appearance in the final of Halle, a tournament he has won on six occasions.  Federer has played only two matches to make the final, but both were solid workouts.  He needed three sets to get past Joao Sousa in the second round.  Against Nishikori, things got a little dicey early on in the second set tiebreak, but Federer’s greater experience and quality on this surface helped him through to level the H2H with Nishikori at 2-2.  Federer had lost his last two matches against the Japanese star.  The funniest moment of the match came at the end when he didn’t seem to realise he had won! See HERE.

Federer takes on surprise finalist, Alejandro Falla.  The Columbian world number 69 took two hours and 21 minutes to beat Philipp Kohlschreiber in the semi-finals, coming from a set down and then a break down in the decider.  Falla and Federer have history on grass.  In 2010, Falla nearly caused the most incredible Grand Slam upset when he led Federer by two sets to one in a first round match at Wimbledon in 2010.  Falla served for the match, but Federer survived and won, 5-7 4-6 6-4 7-6(1) 6-0.  They also met on the grass at the Olympics in 2012 where Federer dropped a set before prevailing in three sets, 6-3 5-7 6-3.  Falla has had some great results on the grass and pushed Federer hard before; still, he is 0-6 in the H2H and Federer will be a big favourite to win another Halle title.

Prediction: Federer d. Falla in 2 sets

2. Grigor Dimitrov v Feliciano Lopez (ATP Queens, F)

Lopez

Two seeds will meet in the final of the Aegon Championships, but not necessarily the two you would have expected to come through at the start of the week.  Grigor Dimitrov earnt his first ever win over Stan Wawrinka, 6-2 6-4 to book his place in a first grass court final.  Dimitrov put in a tremendous performance that was most impressive for his defence.  He moves beautifully around a grass court and forced Wawrinka to hit more errors than usual.  Dimitrov also used his slice to great effect, keeping the ball low and giving Stan a pretty torrid time.  The Swiss maestro seemed to enjoy his racquet smash in the second set though.

Dimitrov will play Feliciano Lopez in the final.  The Spaniard won the Aegon International in Eastbourne last year and has a fantastic record on the grass.  In 2010, he reached the semi-finals of Queens and beat Rafael Nadal in his route through the draw.  This week, he’s taken out Lleyton Hewitt (R2) and the number two seed, Tomas Berdych (QF).  In the semi-finals, he defeated Radek Stepanek in a tight two setter.  Lopez and Dimitrov have played just once before in their career.  That match also happened to take place on the grass at Queens, which Lopez won 6-2 6-4 back in 2010.  This was before Dimitrov had made any kind of breakthrough on the tour.  This is likely to be the most intriguing of Sunday’s finals in terms of it being a competitive match.  Both are great on the grass, both have had terrific results at Queens before and both should put on a fitting spectacle to conclude  the 2014 Aegon Championships.

Prediction: Dimitrov d. Lopez in 3 sets

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