Federer earns 'double bagel' in Halle
HALLE, Germany (AP)
Roger Federer cruised past Mischa Zverev 6-0, 6-0 to reach the Gerry Weber Open semifinals on Friday, recording his second career double bagel and teaching a painful lesson to a player trying to serve and volley on grass.
Richard Gasquet also made the last four, defeating Florian Mayer 6-3, 7-6 (4). Gasquet will play Mikhail Youzhny, who upset 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-2.
Youzhny's only victory in eight previous matches against the sixth-seeded Kohlschreiber was when the German had to retire after one set in 2007.
The third-ranked Federer needed only 39 minutes to defeat the 156th-ranked Zverev. Federer got his first blanking against Gaston Gaudio at the 2005 Masters Cup in Shanghai.
"It's not something which is easy to do. You never go into a match aiming for that score," Federer said. "I was very surprised that it happened today, especially on grass.
"I think it is disappointing for a serve and volley player to go down like this. It shows also how easy it is to hit passing shots or returns today."
Federer will play defending champion Tommy Haas, who beat him in last year's final. The German came from behind to beat Gael Monfils 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3.
Zverev, a German wild card, stuck to his game plan and paid for it.
"I hope he doesn't take it too badly," Federer said. "I just had a pretty easy time picking up his serve, and I must have made a ton of returns."
While noting he'd rather win 6-1, 6-2, Federer said it never crossed his mind to give Zverev a game. He said the only time he lost 6-0, 6-0 was his first match, at age 8.
"I'd rather lose 6-0, 6-0 to Roger in a quarterfinal" than to a qualifier in the second round, Zverev said. "At least there is something to talk about later."
Federer is aiming for his first title of the year. In the semifinals, he will play either Tommy Haas or Gael Monfils. Haas beat Federer in last year's final in Halle.
Mayer produced a pair of stunning diving winners, but Gasquet was the steadier player and served an ace to finish the match. Gasquet will play either Philipp Kohlschreiber or Mikhail Youzhny.
Federer is seeking his sixth title on the grass court at Halle, his favorite tuneup for Wimbledon. Federer owns seven Wimbledon titles and returns as the defending champion. Four of his Wimbledon titles have come after triumphs in Halle. His last title in Halle came in 2008.
"It's been a long time since I won here, so that title this year has the highest priority for me," said Federer, who holds a record 17 Grand Slam titles.
Haas is the oldest man in the top 100, currently ranked No. 11 at age 35 and enjoying a second spring. He already has a title this year at home, in Munich.
Monfils thrilled the crowd with his acrobatic, nonconventional shot-making. Once, he let a high ball bounce between his legs, twisted around and hit a smash on the turn. The smash was good but he lost the point on an error. He also dived and jumped high to hit overhead shots that pleased the crowd. The third-seeded Haas was perhaps less spectacular but more effective and simply made fewer errors.
"It was close, he was lucky to hit a few lines at the end," Monfils said. "I play such points to win them, not just to have fun."
Mayer produced a pair of stunning diving winners but Gasquet was the steadier player and fired an ace to finish the match. He will play either Philipp Kohlschreiber or Mikhail Youzhny.
"It was a tough match for me because he is a good player and I lost to him last year in Wimbledon," Gasquet said. "I played very solid."