HALLE, Germany: Seven-time champion Roger Federer on Friday (Saturday in Manila) reached the Halle semifinals where he will face Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic who fired a record-breaking 45 aces in his last-eight clash.
World number two and top seed Federer defeated Germany’s Florian Mayer 6-0, 7-6 (7/1) as he continues his build-up to an assault on an eighth Wimbledon title.
Federer required just 19 minutes to take the first set against Mayer before going on to conclude the tie in a little over an hour.
Karlovic battered his way into the semi-finals by smashing 45 aces past a bewildered Tomas Berdych en route to a 7-5, 6-7 (8/10), 6-3 victory.
The 36-year-old Karlovic, who stands 2.11m (6ft 11in) tall, won the match with the last of his aces and now has 94 on the Halle grass courts from three rounds of tennis.
“I’m extremely happy about the record,” Karlovic said of his battery of aces, a new record in a best-of-three set match.
“Hitting aces helps a lot, you can avoid the volleys. I was surprised when I was told on court after the match how many aces I hit. I didn’t know it was that many. Hopefully I can continue like that in the semifinals.”
His record came just two days after Germany’s Sabine Lisicki blasted 27 aces in a match in Birmingham—a new record for the women’s tour.
Japan’s world number five Kei Nishikori also landed in the semifinals after beating Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.
Second seed Nishikori will next take on Andreas Seppi after the Italian’s opponent Gael Monfils, the 16th-seeded Frenchman, retired from their quarterfinals with a leg injury suffered when he slid into a courtside advertising board.
World number 51 Seppi was leading 6-1, 1-0 at the time.
Last year, after beating Monfils in the quarters, Nishikori was defeated by Federer, who went on to win the tournament for a seventh time.