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Federer misses out on first grass title

Federer returns the ball during Saturday's semi-final match against Kiefer

(swissinfo.ch)

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has missed out on his first grass court tournament victory after a semi-final defeat at the ATP tournament in Halle.

Federer made an impressive start to Saturday's match against Germany's Nicolas Kiefer, taking the first set and giving himself everything to play for in the second.

But playing in front of a home crowd, Kiefer fought back to take the remaining two sets and the match (4-6, 6-4, 6-4) to book himself a place in Sunday's final.

"I was very disappointed with my performance," said Federer after the match, "and I know I can play a lot better."

Kiefer broke his Swiss opponent's serve three times in the final set. Federer also failed to take the opportunity to turn the match around when Kiefer double faulted to hand him a 3-1 lead.

"Today was just not my day at the net," Federer commented. "I was also unhappy with my serving."

Defeat for the 20-year-old from Basel means Federer can now turn his attention to preparations for the Wimbledon grass court tournament, which begins on June 24.


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