HALLE, Germany (AP) — Roger Federer won his 29th consecutive match at this tournament, beating Germany's Philipp Petzschner 7-6 (3), 6-4 Saturday to reach the final of the Gerry Weber Open against Lleyton Hewitt.
Federer will go for his sixth title in this event Sunday against Hewitt, who is seeded eighth and defeated Germany's Benjamin Becker 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 6-2 to reach his first final of 2010.
Federer, seeded first, lost his No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal on Monday.
"I love the game and don't overplay," the Swiss star said. "It's easy to get motivated. If I play well, then I will get to No. 1 again. The important thing is to play well here and in Wimbledon. First, I have got to win tomorrow."
Hewitt has lost his last 15 matches against Federer.
"Obviously I would have liked to win once in a while, but there are not a lot of players that have been able to win too many matches against him," Hewitt said.
"That shows the quality of player that he is day in, day out. To be able to play at that kind of level in big tournaments when he needs to is quite remarkable."
Federer dropped his first game on serve all week.
"It was an interesting match for me to play him (Petzschner) for the first time," Federer said. "It was not easy, but I found a way which was great."
Federer and Hewitt are hardly strangers.
"It's always special playing him, we go way back," Federer said. "He made the breakthrough so early in his career that I looked up to Lleyton and wondered how could he be so good so early."
Hewitt needed almost 2½ to oust Becker. The Australian looked strong in a tense first set but dropped his serve in the tiebreaker.
"I don't think I did all that much wrong in the first set," Hewitt said. "I played very clean on my serve and I had the only breaks, but I did not hit the targets so well in the tiebreak."
Hewitt went up 5-3 in the second set but Becker broke straight back, forcing a second tiebreaker. An immediate break in the deciding set dented Becker's confidence and Hewitt wrapped up the match.
"He served great in the tiebreak, but I didn't feel he could keep serving so well for the whole three sets," Hewitt said. "This is my first week on grass and I am in a final, which is great."