FEDERER INTO HALLE LAST FOUR WITHOUT STRIKING A BALL

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HALLE WESTFALEN: Defending champion Roger Federer reached the semifinals of the Halle grasscourt championships on Friday (Saturday in Manila) without appearing on court as quarterfinals opponent Lu Yen-Huen of Taiwan withdrew through injury. Lu, who had self-deprecatingly announced that he faced a mission impossible against the Swiss former world number one when he said: “If I’m 150 percent and he’s 100 percent I think I’d still lose,” pulled out with a recurrence of a back problem. Federer, a six-tine winner of the tourament, now faces Japan’s world number 12 Kei Nishikori, who beat American Steve Johnson 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), for a place in the final.

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