Halle Heroes: Federer, Haas & More
The 2020 edition of the tournament would have been held this week, if not for the Tour suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ATPTour.com looks at five things to know about the tournament.
1) 10 For Roger
Roger Federer has won a record 19 grass-court titles in the Open Era, with 10 coming at the NOVENTI OPEN. The Swiss has lifted more trophies in Halle than at any other event except the Swiss Indoors Basel, where he has also triumphed 10 times.
A 21-year-old Federer won his first grass-court title in Halle in 2003, claiming his first Grand Slam crown at Wimbledon just weeks later. He owns the record for most wins at the tournament with 68, and last year he set the record for oldest tournament champion, triumphing as a 37-year-old.
"It’s amazing. For some reason I didn’t think I was going to make it anymore," Federer said last year. "[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."
Officials in Halle paid tribute to Federer in 2012 by naming a street, Roger-Federer-Allee, in his honour. The road leads to the tournament’s centre court, OWL ARENA.
Federer said it was “an amazing honour” and that he was “extremely humbled”.
3) Borna’s Breakthrough
Borna Coric arrived in Halle in 2018 with just two tour-level grass-court wins. But the Croatian played his best tennis to claim the biggest title of his career.
"[I am] just really surprised,” Coric said. “I had not even dreamed of this."
Coric defeated World No. 3 Alexander Zverev in the first round and World No. 1 Federer in the final. The Swiss was pursuing his 10th Halle crown, but Coric upset the top seed 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-2.
"It is the most unbelievable feeling, [to beat Federer]," said Coric. "I looked up to him when I was younger, watching his matches back at home with my mum, my dad and my sister. Just playing him here today was a very special moment and beating him just makes it even bigger for me."
4) German History
Six Germans have triumphed on home soil in Halle, with former World No. 2 Tommy Haas winning the title twice. Haas’ two triumphs in front of his home fans came against legendary opponents. In 2009, he defeated Novak Djokovic in the final, and in 2012 he beat Federer for the trophy.
There have been two all-German finals in the event’s 27-year history: Mayer facing Zverev in 2016 and Kohlschreiber defeating Philipp Petzschner in 2011.
"I’m extremely happy about the record," Karlovic said. "Hitting aces helps a lot, you can avoid the volleys. I was surprised when I was told on court after the match how many aces I hit. I didn’t know it was that many.”