Federer claims seventh Halle Open
Grigor Dimitrov wins Queen's Club tournament and Ana Ivanovic captures her first grass-court title at the Birmingham Open
Roger Federer of Switzerland won the Halle Open in Germany for the seventh time by defeating Alejandro Falla of Colombia 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-3) in the final on Sunday.
Federer fired five aces and saved three of the five break points he faced on his way to the title. It was the 14th tennis title on grass and 79th overall for the 32-year-old Swiss ace.
The seven-time Wimbledon champion improved his record to 46-5 in 12 appearances at the tournament where he made his debut 14 years ago.
“I’ve left a little bit of my heart there,” Federer said after his ninth Halle final.
“My big goal for the week was to collect the title, play good tennis and have fun. I’ve done that.”
Falla said: “He’s the king of kings of tiebreaks. Overall I played very well throughout the whole week and I want to keep it up.”
The 69th-ranked Falla was the first Colombian to reach the final of a grass-court tournament. He was playing his second on tour after he finished runner-up to Ivo Karlovic at Bogota last year.
Top-seeded Rafael Nadal was knocked out in the second round by the 85th-ranked German wild card Dustin Brown, who became the lowest ranked player to defeat a world No 1 since No 98 Mardy Fish upset Federer at Indian Wells in 2008.
Meanwhile, Grigor Dimitrov saved a match point to defeat Spanish left-hander Feliciano Lopez 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-6) to win the grass-court tournament at Queen’s Club.
The fourth-seeded Dimitrov is the first Bulgarian to lift the title, and also the first player this year to win titles on three different surfaces after claiming victories in Acapulco on hard court and Bucharest on clay.
At age 32, 10th-seeded Lopez was attempting to become the oldest winner of the tournament since 33-year old Tony Roche defeated John McEnroe in the 1978 final, and to win his first title since Eastbourne one year ago.
In a match that featured few rallies and even fewer break-point opportunities, Dimitrov dropped only four points on serve in the first set but failed to convert two break points to lead 4-2.
Lopez went on to claim the tiebreaker on his fourth set point and games went comfortably with serve in the second set until the Spaniard held a match point on his opponent’s serve at 6-5.
Dimitrov survived that crisis and then swept the tiebreaker for the loss of just one point, but a forehand volley by Lopez gave the Spaniard a break in the opening game of the final set.
The Bulgarian got back on level terms at 4-4 when Lopez double-faulted, and claimed the tiebreaker on his second match point when Lopez netted a forehand.
At the Birmingham Open, Ana Ivanovic warmed up for Wimbledon by capturing her first grass-court title with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the Czech Republic’s Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
The former world number one dropped her serve in the opening game but from then on dominated the contest to win her third title of the season and 14th overall.
“I couldn’t ask for better preparation [for Wimbledon] than to win my first title on grass,” the Serbian said after following in the footsteps of players such as Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova by winning the tournament in Edgbaston.
“It definitely feels very special, not just to win my first title on grass, but to put my name next to champions like that.
“Hopefully they can help me with my smashes!” she added, referring to a few missed overheads in the final.
Associated Press, Reuters