Roger Federer: He flies towards Wimbledon - Sport
- Roger Federer wins the tournament in Halle and shows himself in very good shape before Wimbledon.
- At age 37, he is one of the favorites again and could win his 21st Grand Slam title.
- One reason: This year he did not abandon the clay court Saion.
Of course, in tennis all the points count the same, but sometimes one point tells more than anyone else. For example, the fifth point in the tiebreaks of the first final movement of Halle.
Roger Federer led 3-1 against his final opponent, Belgian David Goffin. He made a dangerous serve, driving ball and opponent far out of the field. Goffin responded with an excellent return, hard and shallow hissing his forehead over the net, landing directly on the lawn in front of Federer's feet. A Halbvolley can hardly be more difficult. Most players would probably have failed in the task - but Federer blocked the ball with the backhand diagonal into the field. Of course he looked very casual. It was the image that knows the world of Federer: a player in perfect harmony with the court, the ball and the bat.
He won the tiebreaker, shortly after taking his opponent's serve (Goffin threw the bat), playing an unattainable stop a little later (Goffin helplessly raised his arms) and turning his first match ball (Goffin congratulated).
7: 6 (2) and 6: 1, the Federer won the final of Halle / Westphalia on Sunday afternoon. It is his tenth title in the ATP tournament, which has even named a street after the Swiss exceptional player: The tennis stadium is located in the Roger-Federer-Allee. "It's a huge moment in my career and I can hardly believe that I really made it," Federer said into the microphones.
The title, his 102nd overall, is another testament to how cleverly Federer has planned his season this time. Unlike in the past three years, the 37-year-old has not renounced the clay court season. The slow surface is the least suitable for his game. The tenacious rallies, the grueling matches - all of which Federer had not wanted in recent years his body. But now he has realized that the long break does not do his game well. That's why he competed in three tournaments in 2019 and showed good tennis. At the French Open, he made it to the semifinals, where he lost, as so often in Paris, Rafael Nadal. "I've lost to the best clay court player, that's no shame," said Federer in Halle. He left Paris with a positive feeling. Because his game worked.
Federer knows the likelihood of winning a 21 Grand Slam title is highest at Wimbledon next week's tournament. The lawn, he says, "emphasizes my strengths and may conceal my weaknesses." His opponents can not attack him with high topspin balls on the backhand, as Nadal has been successfully practicing on sand for more than a decade. On the grass, the balls jump too flat, and Federer can "play as I want" - ie attack, the balls with fast forehand shots past the opponent or slit the place with sharp sliced balls, again and again to the net, often right after the service. He knows he sometimes does not even have to play perfect on grass to be better than his opponents.
Also in Halle Federer's game was by no means free from mistakes. In the second round he could have lost against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: The Frenchman had many chances in the third set. Also in the quarter-final against the Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut Federer gave a pass. But in the end he just won. Federer said: "It feels like it's going downhill a bit, so in a good sense like riding a bike, and a little bit up the other way."
At the beginning of the finals, Federer also had problems with the brave Goffin, who defeated the best German tennis player, Alexander Zverev, in the quarter-finals and recalled that player in the days of Halle, who was even among the top ten in the world rankings a few years ago was standing. Goffin built up a lot of pressure. And Federer afforded a few impurities, especially at the duels from the baseline. At the score of 3: 2 for Goffin in the first set he had to fend off three breakballs. "He had his chances, he was the first ten games better than me," Federer admitted. "I'm sorry I stole the first set a bit."
But as the match turned into the crucial phase, Federer showed the half-volley, which probably only Roger Federer plays. In the second sentence, Goffin said, "he just flew away." And because it can not be said often enough about Federer: "He plays so well on grass."