Federer Upbeat Despite Falling Short Of 10th Halle Title
It's not often that Roger Federer plays his best match of the tournament in an ATP World Tour final yet walks away with the smaller of the two trophies. But, Federer said, that's what happened on Sunday at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.
The 36-year-old Swiss played great, but Croatia's Borna Coric, playing in his first grass-court final, competed a bit better to win the biggest title of his career at the ATP World Tour 500-level event.
“I actually thought I played maybe my best match of the week today. It just didn’t go my way. So, it’s a bit unfortunate there. But I’m definitely going to leave with my head high, thinking it’s been a good run,” said Federer, who fell to 9-3 in Halle finals.
“Credit to him to play really, really quality tennis at the very end of that first set and then in the third as well, he never really dropped his level and that was it. It was an unfortunate match for me but credit to Borna to really come out and play a tough match today.”
The top seed and defending champion saw his 20-match grass-court win streak snapped and had his quest for a 10th Halle title denied. Federer will also fall to No. 2 in the ATP Rankings on Monday when Rafael Nadal again takes over the top spot.
But Federer is proud of his grass-court season so far, including his title run at last week's MercedesCup in Stuttgart. The Swiss has 98 tour-level titles – 18 on grass – and will next compete at Wimbledon, which begins 2 July. The eight-time champion owns a 91-11 record at SW19.
“I’m definitely looking forward to some recovery time now next week and just some easy preparation. [I'm] really going to love going to Wimbledon. Being the defending champion always creates pressure. So regardless of whether I won or lost here I will be one of the favourites there,” he said. “But all of that stuff doesn’t matter; I just really need to make sure I play great tennis from the get-go and hopefully I can do that there again.”