Eight Is Great For Federer

The Swiss maestro triumphs in Halle for 86th tour-level crown, eighth in Halle.

Roger Federer further cemented himself as the grass king on Sunday at the GERRY WEBER OPEN, capturing an unprecedented eighth Halle title and 15th overall crown on the surface.

The World No. 2 overcame a strong test from Andreas Seppi to prevail 7-6(1), 6-4, claiming their third FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting of the year. Federer improved to 12-1 against the Italian, firing 14 aces and 36 winners, while staving off all four break points faced.

A day after earning his 50th match win in Halle, Federer became just the third player in the Open Era to claim at least eight titles in a single tournament, joining Rafael Nadal and Guillermo Vilas. Nadal has won nine times at Roland Garros and eight in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, while Vilas emerged victorious on eight occasions in his home capital of Buenos Aires.

Most Titles At One Tournament (Open Era)

Player
Titles
1) Rafael Nadal
9 - Roland Garros
T2) Roger Federer
8 - Halle
T2) Guillermo Vilas
8 - Buenos Aires
T2) Rafael Nadal
8 - Monte-Carlo
T2) Rafael Nadal
8- Barcelona

"I think that I did very well here in the tie-breaks," said Federer. "I served well which you have to on the grass. I was able to mix it up, so I created a good pattern going into the tie-break. My opponent wouldn’t quite know where it’s going to go and if he knew where it was going to go it was going to be tough for him to defend. I think I did a really nice job this week on these situations.

"I think one big secret on grass is when to hit which shot and playing the score the right way. You might be playing perfect but then in one moment you take a bad decision and grass makes you pay for it all. So, this week has been great if I look at the whole thing. I don’t think I got broken anymore the last four matches I played. The first match was extremely close but I won all the tie-breaks this week, which gives obviously big confidence knowing that in the crucial moments my game was right there." 

Federer was clutch throughout the one-hour and 48-minute affair, saving a pair of set points at 5-4 in the first, before racing through the ensuing tie-break. A slice approach and lunge volley gave him a 2-0 lead and he would secure the opener after Seppi netted a double fault. It was the top seed's sixth straight tie-break won this week and he would press for a break in the eighth game of the second set, but Seppi held after 10 minutes. The Italian would not be as fortunate in his next service game, and with the added pressure of serving to stay in the match, he fell behind 15/40 and was unable to recover.

One of 13 titlists aged 30 & over in 2015, Federer brings home €381,760 and 500 Emirates ATP Ranking points. He improved to 86-44 in tour-level finals and is now eight titles behind Ivan Lendl for second on the Open Era list.

Seppi, meanwhile, was bidding to notch his fourth ATP World Tour title and first since hoisting the trophy in Moscow 2012. The 31-year-old Italian drops to 1-2 in grass-court finals, having previously split consecutive title matches on the lawns of Eastbourne in 2011 (d. Tipsarevic) and '12 (l. to Roddick).

"It was a fantastic week for me," said Seppi. "A first final in a 500 tournament. I had some chances in the first set with two set points but I can be happy with the level I played and congrats to Roger for winning another title here in Halle. In the important moments he stepped up his serve."