Federer slips up but Mikaelian reaches first semi-final

Federer narrowly missed out against Rafter Keystone

Switzerland's Roger Federer is out of the $1 million ATP grass court tournament in Halle, Germany, after losing to Australia's Patrick Rafter 6-4, 6-7, 6-7 in a close-fought contest.

This content was published on June 15, 2001 - 20:46

Federer, the number six seed, at one stage held match point in the second set tiebreak, but the Australian got himself out of jail by firing down an ace.

Federer traded powerful serves and volleys with the tournament's number two seed throughout their quarter-final match. The 19-year-old Swiss, who has risen from 29th to eighth in this year's Champions race, continually forced last year's Wimbledon runner-up onto the back foot.

Federer took the first set after breaking Rafter at 3-3, and then raced to 4-2 and 5-4 leads in the second set tiebreak before the Australian saved the match with his ace. Rafter eventually won the match in the third set tiebreak 7-4.

However there was better news for Switzerland's Marie-Gaiane Mikaelian has reached the first semi-final of her career at the $140,000 Tashkent Open. She beat Indonesia's Wynne Prakusya 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 in their quarter-final clash.

"It's just wonderful," said Mikaelian, who is ranked outside the top 250. "So far, it has been the best tournament of my entire career."

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