Federer returns to normal service at Halle

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The Independent Online

Roger Federer cruised to his fifth Halle Open title in Germany yesterday, beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4. The world No 1, who had been heavily defeated by Rafael Nadal in the French Open final the previous weekend, was rarely troubled by his German opponent, extending his winning streak on grass to 59 matches ahead of Wimbledon, which starts next Monday.

"I played great tennis all week. I didn't lose my serve once, which I don't think I've ever managed before in a tournament, so it's very special for me," he said.

The Swiss player has traditionally used the Halle tournament as a warm-up for Wimbledon, but skipped the event a year ago after losing to Nadal at Roland Garros. Federer, who did not drop a single set all week, said he was fit and ready for the third Grand Slam of the year.

At home, the former Wimbledon junior champion Kateryna Bondarenko claimed her first WTA tour title after an epic duel with Belgian teenager Yanina Wickmayer in the DFS Classic final in Edgbaston.

The 21-year-old 12th seed from Ukraine needed two tie-breaks to gain a 7-6, 3-6 7-6 win over Wickmayer, whose movement for most of the match was restricted by a knee injury. Wickmayer battled all the way on her debut in the Wimbledon warm-up tournament in an enthralling match that lasted 12 minutes short of three hours.

In Poland, the top seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko won the Warsaw Open with a 6-3, 6-3 win over the defending champion Tommy Robredo of Spain.