Roger Federer booked his 12th career final at the ATP Halle grass tournament on Saturday, beating qualifier Denis Kudla 7-6 (7/1), 7-5.
The Swiss needs to win the title on Sunday it would be his tenth at the event to remain world number one heading into Wimbledon.
He will face Croatian BornaCoric, who advanced 2-3 when Spanish fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut had to retire after slipping on the grass and injuring himself.
Federer’s win over Kudla was his 20th in a row on grass, dating to June, 2017. He sat out the clay court season and began on grass last week with a title at Stuttgart.
“I’m very happy, I’ve never played back-to-back finals on grass in the Wimbledon run-up, This is a first for me.” Federer said.
Federer is back in a familiar spot in Halle, which models its Centre Court after its namesake at the All England club, as he works to fine-tune with a Wimbledon title defence starting a week from Monday.
“I was happy to win Stuttgart and happy to make another final here. My comeback (after skipping the clay) has been rather successful.
I hope I can find my best game. I’ve said you usually start playing your best towards the end of a tournament, so hopefully I’m gonna have a good final.” He added.
Federer needed just under 90 minutes to get the job done and hold off the 109th-ranked Kudla, who had not lost a set going into the semi-final.
Taming Kudla was no easy task, with Federer losing a break after taking an early 2-0 lead.
The first set went into a tiebreaker where the 20-time Grand Slam winner was able to step his game up a gear, racing to 6-0 in the decider and taking it two points later with his seventh ace.