Federer Win 10th Halle Title, Sends Wimbledon Warning
Roger Federer made history on Sunday in Halle, defeating David Goffin 7-6(2), 6-1 to win a record 10th NOVENTI OPEN title. It is the first time that Federer has earned 10 crowns at one tournament, joining Rafael Nadal as the only men in the Open Era to accomplish the feat.
"It’s amazing. For some reason I didn’t think I was going to make it anymore. Didn’t think of it much. I just thought match-for-match because the second round and quarters were so tough that I never really thought about how it would feel if I won and now it’s reality," Federer said. "[It’s the] first time ever I could win a title 10 times in one place, so it’s obviously a very special moment in my career."
This is Federer’s 102nd tour-level title, moving to within seven trophies of Jimmy Connors' record of 109. It is also the Swiss star’s 19th tour-level victory on grass.
Only four other active players own at least 19 titles on all surfaces combined. Federer is also the oldest tour-level champion since 43-year-old Ken Rosewall won at 1977 Hong Kong, giving him plenty of momentum as he heads to Wimbledon to pursue his ninth title at the grass-court Grand Slam.
Federer - Most Titles By Tournament
No. 10 in Halle didn’t come easily, though. Federer had to battle through two three-setters in his first three matches of the week. And Goffin, who despite only winning one of eight previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against the top seed, had shown his ability to beat Federer on a big stage by doing so in the semi-finals of the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals.
Goffin looked comfortable in early rallies, especially those of the backhand-to-backhand variety. Federer began to run around his backhand to strike forehands even more than he usually does. And at 2-2 in the opener, the Belgian earned three consecutive break points. But he missed a return and then made two straight forehand errors to let slip those chances.
And although Federer did not earn a break point in the first set, he was able to serve his way to a tie-break. The top seed then significantly raised his level, and at 3/1 he even hit a half-volley winner off a strong return from Goffin, later winning the set when the Belgian launched a forehand return long.
"He was the better player for probably the first 10 games of the match. He had more chances. He had big chances, too," Federer said. "Then I played a really good tie-break."
Federer maintained his level from there, immediately pressuring the 28-year-old’s serve to start the second set, and earning the break when Goffin dumped a double fault into the net. The World No. 3 was relentless from there, earning a second break at 3-1 when Goffin sliced a forehand long.
"I was able to run away with the lead getting the break early on in the second and I think that maybe calmed down my nerves," Federer said. "His level might have dropped just a tiny bit, but it was tough to play with the shadows, it’s a fast court. David of course also had a great week, so clearly he was feeling it from the baseline. But I was able to tough it out and at the end I was able to really play some great tennis, so I couldn’t be happier right now."
Federer is now 68-7 in Halle, and those 68 victories are his second-most for an event that is not a Grand Slam, trailing only his hometown tournament in Basel, where he has won 71 matches. In 17 Halle appearances, Federer has never failed to advance to at least the quarter-finals.
Federer - Most Wins By Tournament
The champion takes home €429,955 and 500 ATP Ranking points. Goffin, who was trying to claim his first crown since 2017 Tokyo, earns €215,940 and 300 points. This was the Belgian's first championship match since the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals.
"Every time I’ve won in Halle, I went on to play really well at Wimbledon. It’s never a guarantee of course, but I’ve been on the Tour for long enough to know what it means," Federer said. "Most important is I know I’m injury-free. I’m going to have a couple of days off I guess and then get ready once I’m going to be at Wimbledon practising again. But for now I’m going to enjoy this one, rest up a little bit, and then look forward to the rest."
Did You Know?
Federer first competed in Halle as an 18-year-old in 2000. No player from that singles draw still competes on the ATP Tour. Federer’s coach, Ivan Ljubicic, and Goffin’s coach, Thomas Johansson, played the NOVENTI OPEN that year.