There was a comical moment at the conclusion of Swiss Roger Federer’s semi-final win over Kei Nishikori at the Gerry Weber Open on Saturday.
The world number four advanced to Sunday’s final with a 6-4, 7-6 victory at the grass court tournament in Halle, and he appeared to be the last person to notice.
The seven-time reigning champion claimed the win as Nishikori hit a backhand into the net, and then proceeded to walk back to the baseline in preparation for the next point.
An awkward period of Nishikori waiting for his opponent at the net ensued, before Federer raised a smile as he realised that there was in fact no need to play another point.
The 32-year-old managed to see the funny side after the match, but he made a defence that it is not an error that has happened often in a career that has spanned 1178 matches on the ATP tour.
"It was the first time in my career in over a thousand matches," he jested.
It was a convincing performance from Federer, who served 10 aces and converted both of his two break point opportunities on the way to sealing a 73-minute triumph.
Federer was pleased with his performance against the world number 12.
"I’m extremely happy with the way I played today. I think I played really aggressive, I served well when I had to and I was able to keep the pressure on Kei and at the end I think I deserved to win.
“I played a good tie-break as well to get back into it and now I’m in another final here at the Gerry Weber Open.
“I love this tournament. I’ve won it six times before. So I’m hoping to make it seven."
Federer, who won the tournament in five consecutive attempts between 2003 and 2008 and for a seventh time on Sunday afternoon, has won 14 career titles on grass.
It was the 17-time Grand Slam winner’s success at Halle that helped him create a record breaking run of 65 wins on grass between 2003 and 2008, as he also won five consecutive Wimbledon titles in that period.
Should he be successful against Falla, then he will be in good shape to regain his Wimbledon crown, at a tournament that he has won on seven previous occasions.
He will be looking to improve on a disappointing second round exit in 2013, where he was left stunned by Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, who beat the joint record holder for Wimbledon titles in the Open Era in four sets.
There is a chance that he could move above compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka into third in the world rankings if he is able to significantly improve on last year’s showing, and his early exit last year was the first time he had failed to reach the quarter-finals since 2002.
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