Wimbledon is the event Roger Federer loves most but the Gerry Weber Open in Halle is now the tournament he has won more times than any other.
The 33-year-old Swiss claimed the German title for the eighth time on Sunday when he beat Italy’s Andreas Seppi 7-6, 6-4 in the final. It was his 15th title on grass, his fourth of this year and the 86th of his career.
Federer has gone on to win Wimbledon after four of his previous Halle titles. On his present form he looks sure to be one of the major contenders next week at the All England Club, where he finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic last year. The last time Federer won more titles in the first half of the year going into Wimbledon was in 2006.
The world No 2, playing in his 10th final at Halle, had won 11 of his previous 12 meetings with Seppi; however, the match was tight and Federer saved two successive set points with aces at 4-5 in the opening set.
The tie-break was one-sided, though, Federer winning it 7-1. Seppi, in his second final of the year, failed to convert another break point at 2-2 in the second set. Three games later it was his turn to defend break points. He did so on this occasion, but at 4-5 he dropped serve for the only time in the match, Federer securing victory with a smash.
“Of course it’s a special moment for me, to win here for the eighth time before Wimbledon,” Federer said afterwards. Seppi, the first Italian to reach the final, conceded: “He played better at the decisive moments and deserved to win in the end.”
The last men’s tournament before Wimbledon is this week’s Aegon Open at Nottingham, where David Ferrer and Gilles Simon are the top seeds. Three Britons are in the main draw: James Ward faces American Tim Smyczek in the first round, Kyle Edmund meets Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri, and Aljaz Bedene faces Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.Reuse content