8-Time Halle Champion Roger Federer Falls To The Future In Alexander Zverev
by Sean Randall | June 18th, 2016, 3:59 pm
  • 13 Comments

Last week in Germany it was Dominic Thiem. This weekend the honor of eliminating the great Roger Federer fell to another youngster, teen Alexander Zverev. The 19-year-old German pocketed his first career Top 10 victory beating the world No. 3 Federer impressively 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-3.

Zverev came oh so close earlier this year in a tough loss to Rafael Nadal at Indian Wells. But today, the teen didn’t blink serving out the 8-time Halle champion with ease.

“I feel pretty good,” Zverev said after. “I played very good, served well once again. So, I think that helped me a little bit and I played well in the important moments. It’s unbelievable to get a win against Roger, especially on grass.

“He played really well. He played a really really good game at 5-all, I didn’t really make any mistakes or anything like that. He just played good. So, I just knew I had to stay with him in the third set, in the beginning of the third set, you know he had a lot of break chances where I played good. That was also one of the biggest factors why I could get away with a win.”

Changing of the guard? Not yet. But it’s coming.

The 19-year-old has all the tools. The height, the power, the serve, a complete game and even some pedigree – his older brother Mischa also played on the pro tour (and once lost to Federer in Halle 6-0, 6-0!). And on his way to the Top 10 he’ll likely avenge his brother’s loss several more times.

For Federer, it’s the first teen to beat him since way back in 2006 when Andy Murray stunned Roger in Cincinnati. But looking ahead, losses to Thiem and now Zverev doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Not when his favorite stop, Wimbledon, is just around the corner and the event is still best-of-5 last I checked. And most importantly, his almost 35-year-old body seems to be holding up.

“After a loss clearly is always tougher to step back and just to reassess how great everything is, you know, after losing,” said Federer. “But I must say it’s gotten better and better. The only thing maybe missing is a better baseline game. I guess that comes through movement and through just playing enough again. I feel the serve has come back around now, the returns have gotten better also throughout the match today. And I think if the movement gets better and then the baseline game improves a little bit I’ll be better on the big points, on the return and also I’m going to be hopefully in less trouble on my own service games at time.

“I’m okay and I’m pleased on how I played, how I’m feeling and now we’ve got enough time before Wimbledon to get ready for that.”

So Roger’s probably not where he wants to be, but given his age and his injuries this year, he’ll take it and hope things improve at Wimbledon where he’s reached the final the last two years and three of the last four.

“I know what I need to work on in the next ten days,” Federer said. “Clearly, I also need to rest now. It’s been a lot of tennis in… this has been seven matches in nine days, or ten days now. So, it’s been intense and it’s been busy and it’s exactly what I needed. At least I have a clear picture now where my game is at, what I need to do and without Stuttgart and Halle I wouldn’t have that. So, I have more clarity now.”

Zverev moves into his second career final after losing to Thiem in Nice last month, and he’ll meet Florian Mayer who used his experience to upset a weary Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4.

“I was not moving that well, the strokes were not that powerful, also he’s playing really uncomfortable on grass, comes in a lot and plays really good volleys, has an unbelievable touch. I didn’t find a solution for him today,” Thiem said.

Zverev will be favored, but like Mayer did today the veteran will give Alex a lot of different looks and balls. But power should win out and I think he’ll get his first ATP title and become the first teen to win a crown since Marin Cilic at 2008 New Haven.

SUNDAY HALLE SCHEDULE
STADION start 12:00
[3] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs [2] L. Kubot (POL) / A. Peya (AUT)

3:00 pm
A. Zverev (GER) vs [PR] F. Mayer (GER)


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13 Comments for 8-Time Halle Champion Roger Federer Falls To The Future In Alexander Zverev

AndyMira Says:

That’s alright rog..it’s always hard to make a come back from injuries..just ask your buddy rrafa..hope you’ll do well in wimby!


James Says:

As I have mentioned for some time now – Federer is OLD. Agreed, the injuries have made it harder. Even then, he wouldn’t be in my top 5 list to win wimbledon this year. He probably will lose 3rd or 4th round, he just can’t last even 3 hours now, maybe not even 2.


jane Says:

fed is old, but florian mayer, 32, is still around. also, stepanek, 37, nearly ousted andy from the french open in 5 sets. for me, it feels like this is more about injuries for fed… but it could be a combo of both age AND injuries now. that makes sense.

how old was agassi when he reached his last slam final? i know he retired around 36, and a large part of that was due to back problems. if fed has those, it could be very serious.

———————-

i’ll post my comment from the other thread here, since it’s relevant.

———————-

this is the longest into the season fed’s gone without a title since 2000, yet another marker of his consistency, regardless of age.

it’s arguable that this title lapse is mainly due to injury, which has been so rare throughout his career. obviously he played well last season, with titles, 2 slam finals, and right to the end at the WTF. he also did well at the very beginning of this one – reaching the semis of the AO, the same stage to which he’s been getting consistently since 2010, the year of his last final there.

it’ll be interesting to see what the rest of the season holds for federer. if this will mark a real decline with these injuries serving as a catalyst, or whether he’ll be inspired again during the next half of the season, his better half for a while now – with the added incentive of olympics this time.


J-Kath Says:

Fed at Wimbledon. He should at least get to the quarter-finals provided he can keep the wins to 3 sets. Subsequently, if he looks and feels good he could well go further. But it would be highly surprising if he managed to get to the final this year.

It’s essential for him to play well from the start or he’ll be the prey of those who would delight in saying that they beat Roger Federer.


Willow Says:

Yeah put it this way, i wouldnt be surprised if he made the final, i just dont see him winning the title ever again, i know its best of five, so different to Halle, but i think players have more belief when they face him now, its more likely IMO that someone will have a Staks type moment now ….


BBB Says:

I find it odd that it’s assumed that a best of five still favors Federer. He’s been injured, and he’s 35.


Martin rivkin Says:

the more male players that can take focus away from jokersick is a good thing as no doubt who will win title so least more interest leading up to the big headed one winning slam 13


Alexandra Says:

Fed has been rather inconsistent in matches he played on grass. Sure best of 5 help him in some ways, but he can’t afford lapses there either. Very easy to lose sets this way.
Mayer and Stepanek were mentioned earlier, but they are in a different position. They are not there to win slams, or even reach the second week of slams.
To win slams Fed needs a lot more regular play, can’t afford to go out of matches mentally. This way he has no chance. He did that in a lot of matches in Stuttgart and Halle. He might play better at Wimbledon but I don’t expect him to magically play at another level compared to these past two weeks.


jane Says:

looks like the future fell to florian mayer rather easily? i missed the match but the scores look straight-forward.


AndyMira Says:

To all Roger’s fan and okie as well since he mentioned Rafa in it,this is an article for you guys..http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Roger-Federer-I-love-tennis-so-much-that-I-dont-care-if-I-dont-win-so-much-articolo33737.html?


MMT Says:

AndyMira: If that is to be believed, then the end is truly hear/near for Federer. The one thing that distinguished great players from everyone else, is that they hate losing more than the love winning.

https://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2009/07/privlege-of-pressure.html


Willow Says:

MMT Funny Mats Wilander said it the other way around, in that Federer doesnt hate losing as much as he loves winning !, anyhow just wanted to say that i love your blog, and the homage to Abbott and Costello was hilarious lol ;-)) ….


MMT Says:

Glad you enjoyed it, Willow.

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