Roger Federer resumes normal service to end title drought with Halle Open victory

World number three defeats Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4 to take Gerry Weber Open in preparation for Wimbledon

Roger Federer’s timing has always been hugely impressive and the  31-year-old Swiss chose the perfect moment to win his first title for 10 months on Sunday.

Federer, whose last tournament victory was in Cincinnati in August, warmed up for Wimbledon in traditional fashion by winning the title in Halle for the sixth time. The world No 3 beat Mikhail Youzhny  6-7, 6-3, 6-4.

“I have won a lot in my career but not recently,” Federer said after claiming his 77th title. “I was satisfied with my game in the past 10 months. Maybe people thought I was playing badly. That was not the case. I was playing well, but when it mattered the others were just better. Today it worked well.”

Nevertheless, the victory was  less straightforward than the reigning Wimbledon champion might have expected against an opponent he had beaten in all 14 of their previous meetings. Federer saved a set point when 6-5 down in the opening  set, lost the ensuing tie-break 7-5 and did not break Youzhny until the Russian double-faulted at 3-4 in the second set.

Having served out to level the match, Federer made his final break in the seventh game of the decider and went on to secure victory after two hours and two minutes. “He just played better,” Youzhny said. “In fact, he’s been playing better all my life.”

Although it was Federer’s sixth Halle title, it was his first at the tournament since 2008. In the intervening years he has twice lost in the final, to Lleyton Hewitt and to Tommy Haas.

Elena Baltacha claimed her first title since beginning her comeback after ankle surgery when she won the Aegon Challenge in Nottingham, beating Slovenia’s Tadeja Majeric, the world No 135, 7-5, 7-6.

The former British No 1, who has been given a wild card for this week’s Aegon International in Eastbourne, said afterwards: “It was so exciting to be part of something like that. It means absolutely everything to me. I was pretty much bawling my eyes out. To come back and play tennis like that consistently in five matches was such an amazing feeling.”

Croatia’s Donna Vekic, aged 16, was denied her first title on the main tour when she was beaten 7-6, 6-4 by Daniela Hantuchova in the final of the Aegon Classic at Edgbaston.

Vekic, who is based in London and works with David Felgate,  Tim Henman’s former coach, is  the youngest player in the world’s  top 350.

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot