Federer blasts Becker to reach Tokyo final

World number one Roger Federer blasted past Germany's Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-4 to reach the Japan Open final.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2006 15:43 IST

World number one Roger Federer blasted past Germany's Benjamin Becker 6-3 6-4 to reach the Japan Open final on Saturday.

The stylish Swiss never fully extended himself, taking exactly one hour to repel the 14th-seeded Becker with a supremely confident display.

"It was pretty straightforward," Federer told reporters after improving his win-loss record for the year to 76-5. "The feeling's good. My dream was to be in the final.

"The last little bit is a bonus. It's a great opportunity to win maybe my first tournament in Japan."

Federer, playing for the first time in Japan, faces either Britain's Tim Henman or South Korea's Lee Hyung-taik on Sunday. Henman and Lee were playing in Saturday's second semi-final.

Federer had struggled to beat 1,078th-ranked Japanese player Takao Suzuki on Friday when he was briefly in danger of suffering the worst defeat by a world number one in ATP Tour history.

But the nine-times grand slam singles champion quickly found his rhythm against Becker.

Federer made light of the swirling wind and deafening noise from helicopters buzzing over centre court as he tore through the first set in 36 minutes.

The second set was even quicker, the Swiss forcing Becker into an errant forehand to break again in the third game of the second set.

Becker, who ushered Andre Agassi into retirement at last month's U.S. Open, simply had no answer to Federer's bewildering arsenal of shots.

Federer finally put the German out of his misery with a blistering serve on his first match point to move to within one victory of his ninth title of the year.

First Published: Oct 07, 2006 15:43 IST