Federer Shows Grasscourt Best, Destroys Zverev in Halle Final
by Staff | June 25th, 2017, 4:59 pm
  • 75 Comments

If Roger Federer’s grasscourt status was up in the air before this week after a long layoff, it was set to rest on Sunday when the Swiss decimated rising star Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-3 in the final of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany.


Federer won the first seven points of the match en route to his ninth Halle crown.

“It’s great to get off to a good start in the finals and then remind yourself that you’ve been playing good tennis all week,” said Federer after improving to 4-0 in title matches this year, tied with Rafael Nadal for the tour lead. “You start swinging freely, things start clicking, you realize your opponent is under pressure and you keep pressuring him.”

The 35-year-old Swiss skipped the claycourt season to rehab injuries, then in his first match back on grass lost to former world No. 2 Tommy Haas at Stuttgart.

“I was doubting myself a little bit, I must admit, because losing [in the opening] round for the first time in 15 years on grass was always going to shake me a little bit and it did,” Federer said. “So I’m happy to react right away and let that be forgotten and actually move on and remind myself I actually can play well on grass. It’s a boost for me personally, with my confidence, knowing that my body is in good shape. Mentally, I’m fresh again and I’ve gotten used to match play.”

Zverev, who beat Federer in the Halle semifinals last year, fell to 3-1 in finals this year.

“I think going into Wimbledon he’s going to be probably the favorite to win the whole thing,” Zverev said of Federer. “So credits to him, he played an unbelievable match. Of course I could have played better but he didn’t really let me play my best tennis. He messed with the ball a lot. He played very aggressive.”

It was the 92nd career title for the Swiss.


You Might Like:
Federer, Dimitrov, Ivanovic Collect Grass Titles
Federer, 0-1 on Grass This Season, Heads to Halle as 8-time Champion; ATP Preview
Dream Final Set In Halle: Roger Federer v Alexander Zverev
Zverev Beats De Minaur to Repeat at ATP Washington
Federer, Nadal Win Grasscourt Titles; Destined for Wimbledon Final?

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

75 Comments for Federer Shows Grasscourt Best, Destroys Zverev in Halle Final

Reabirth Says:

Wimbledon will be exciting to watch form Fedfans’ perspective.


Daniel Says:

Fed slices were perfect to hide his drop shots. Never seen he uses so many drops before on grass. Maybe he knew Zverev didn’t like to come in a lot.
Hope he uses in Wimbledon as well. Masterclass performance, love grass court tennis!


Rick Says:

Why Federina skipped Queen’s every year? Where were all the top players in Halle? And Federina was beaten in Halle by
Haas, Hewitt and Zverev.


the_mind_reels Says:

@Rick: because he’s been playing Halle since 2000…before he was a top player. It’s called routine.


Rick Says:

And the defending champion of Halle rank 134.


Markus Says:

I don’t have the answer, Rickova.


Rick Says:

Queen’s tough for Federina.


Rick Says:

McEnroe, Becker, Sampras, Murray and other grass cour greats all triump at Queen’s.


Pitchaboy Says:

Surely Queens is tough for a man with 18 slams and 7 Wimbys.


Rick Says:

But Federina never wins at Queen’s. And was beaten by Raonic at Wimbledon last year.


Rick Says:

And winning Halle by beating Zverev a claycourt guy.


skeezer Says:

Rickerina,
Fed has the most GS Grass titles. Rinse and repeat.


the_mind_reels Says:

The factual response to why Federer never wins at Queens is because he’s never played Queens in his career.


Leo Says:

I’m okay that he sucks at Queens. As long as he’s got them 7 Wimbys… just saying.


kjb Says:

@Rick

How is Zverev a clay court guy? His Win/Loss record is best on grass. He doesn’t play a clay court game whatsoever. He won Rome because he is a beast and is going to #1 in the future. And Fed hasn’t ever won Queens because he has never played it.


Leo Says:

Strange that Zverev wasn’t able to put up a better fight.. Coming into the final he was broken just once and Roger had some slips in his service games in prior matches. Didn’t see the final, but I sure hope Rog was playing well.

I’d still put Nadal right up there, given his FO performance. Cilic looking good. Zverev, Kyrgios should do well as there games are suited for it.

Who do you guys see as favorites?


Humble Rafa Says:

Dear Deliciano,

I am behind a cheater, seriously?


Markus Says:

Queens vs Wimbledon. Only a dummy (or a Rickova) will put much value to Queens over Wimbledon.


gonzalowski Says:

Leo, the only one I see as favourite IMHO is Fed, yet I don’t want him to win it.
I give him 33% possibilities


Giles Says:

Gosh he looks really ugly in the pic attached to the headline article!


Giles Says:

Queens has always had the strongest competition of all the grass warm up tourneys. Fact!


Rick Says:

The real dummy also the old grandma Markusova reckoned that, Federina’s win at Halle is such a deal. And forgot that, Federina hasn’t won Wimbledon for awhile.


el_matador Says:

it’s good that he hasn’t won wimbledon for awhile..like rafa at french,it’s so boring to watch a guy “owning” a slam..but I cnt understand one thing-why the hell is the grandpa fed bookmarkers’ outright favourite for this wimbledon after all these years?..maybe wimbledon has a very weak field like halle this year and all the “top players” are skipping wimbledon..


Giles Says:

It’s very simple. The reason why fed is fave for Wimby is Andy not in form, joker in Lala land, grass not Rafa’s best surface, not sure about Wawa, so who are the contenders?? Maybe Kyrgios. Lol


el_matador Says:

oh I see..rafa also ran riot in french because andy was not in form,djoker was in lala land and fed skipped as he sucks in clay..it had nothing to do with rafa’s game..


skeezer Says:

Halle is really a warm up tourney for Wimby, just like the Queens. Guys are getting match play in to get into form for their run at Wimby. It can help them give an indication of their form and chances.
A few here are so blindly jealous of the GOAT they forgot to notice their fly is open.


fred stone Says:

Fed keeps proving his detractors wrong and it shows in their growing hatred of a once in a lifetime phenom. Get used to it; he’ll possibly keep playing until he’s 40.
Grumble on…


Leo Says:

Who cares if Queens has a better field. At the end of the day it was Cilic vs Lopez!

Dont’ let them get to you…. tolls be trolls…


madmax Says:

Giles Says:
Queens has always had the strongest competition of all the grass warm up tourneys. Fact!

June 26th, 2017 at 7:44 am

Correct Giles, in your world.

Perhaps reason why Rafa withdraw, no?

Ridiculous as always.

Rick, Roger signed a lifetime contract with the Halle tournament, (am sure you know), he can’t be at two tournaments at once.

Sadly.

:-(


madmax Says:

Congratulations to Roger for a ninth title at Halle!

Unbelievable some of the shot making. Zverev, perfect partner and great revenge for Roger from last year’s disappointment.

Sharp as ever, Roger. Allez! Hoping the 10 weeks off is really going to pay off now the grass season is in full swing!

Allez Roger!


madmax Says:

Roger will be seeded Number 3 I believe at Wimbledon, due to the Halle win!

Fab news!


madmax Says:

Leo Says:
Who cares if Queens has a better field. At the end of the day it was Cilic vs Lopez!

Dont’ let them get to you…. tolls be trolls…

June 26th, 2017 at 10:18 am

I hear you Leo!

Halle has top top players, the problem is trolls can’t do the math when it comes to numbers. Halle’s past winners, include the Bryan Brothers, oh yeah. They are nobodies right? Florian Mayer, Alexander Zverev, Kohlschreiber, Thiem – (next best thing…though we have heard this before, he certainly seems to be a perfect reminder of never count your chickens, to all the top players). They have been warned, that is for sure!

Sure Rick, Giles. Halle just produces losers and only losers win!

haha!

Federer, the greatest of them all, still belting the naysayers with another title.

Keep it high, loud, strong Fed!


madmax Says:

Great news for doubles at Queens – a big congratulations to Jamie and to Bruno.

Think that this is going to be a very exciting Wimbledon. Imagine. Just imagine.


Giles Says:

Seems like fed ” nourished” himself in the time off during the clay court season! Lol


madmax Says:

skeezer Says:
Halle is really a warm up tourney for Wimby, just like the Queens. Guys are getting match play in to get into form for their run at Wimby. It can help them give an indication of their form and chances.
A few here are so blindly jealous of the GOAT they forgot to notice their fly is open.

June 26th, 2017 at 9:38 am

I hear you Skeezer. Roll on Wimbledon. Perhaps Rick and Giles have booked their holiday?

One can always wish.


Colin Says:

Come on, Staff, you can do better than that (if you buy a good dictionary). Fed decimated his opponent, did he? That is, he “destroyed or killed a large proportion of him”. That must have been a horrible sight.


NK Says:

To the insufferable anti-Federer trolls on this thread, here’s some tennis history education for you:

In Federer’s early days as a pro, when his ranking wasn’t very high, he asked Queens for a wild card entry and they declined because they had more interesting players then, to sell the tickets. They refused WC entry to Federer twice.That’s when Halle gave him a WC, so he has remained loyal to them ever since.

Get it? This is the truth. Go check it out, and stop your nonsensical drivel!


NK Says:

By the way, I forgot to put the above post in quotes, because I am sharing almost word for word what I read elsewhere. Don’t want to be accused of plagiarism-:)

“In Federer’s early days as a pro, when his ranking wasn’t very high, he asked Queens for a wild card entry and they declined because they had more interesting players then, to sell the tickets. They refused WC entry to Federer twice.That’s when Halle gave him a WC, so he has remained loyal to them ever since.”


J-Kath Says:

Nole plays Pospisil (sp?) 12.30pm UK time tomorrow. Will be a tell-tale match me thinks. Nole has beaten him 4 times.

Perhaps we could have a new heading – I think Roger has had a generous moment in the spotlight – let’s at least see how his potential challengers do? Please don’t send me to Coventry for saying so – perhaps Eastbourne?????


Humble Rafa Says:

In Federer’s early days as a pro, when his ranking wasn’t very high, he asked Queens for a wild card entry and they declined because they had more interesting players then, to sell the tickets. They refused WC entry to Federer twice.That’s when Halle gave him a WC, so he has remained loyal to them ever since.

Using facts and falsehood to weave a good story. Typical Arrogant One tactics.

Great Britain charges tax on both earnings and sponsorship dollars. For someone with 4 kids and only 100 million dollars a year in earnings, it’s tough to pay those taxes. Taxes are for poor people. So the Arrogant One plays in Germany, got it?


NK Says:

“Using facts and falsehood to weave a good story. Typical Arrogant One tactics.”

Why am I not surprised at HR’s typical arrogant baseless trollish comment. You are really pathetic, HR. Your sole reason for existence appears to be to discredit “the arrogant one.” You need to get a life, seriously!

There is no falsehood here, HR. Unlike you, I don’t try to fix the “facts” to fit a story.


skeezer Says:

HR cannot talk about facts, his false 3rd party bad comedy act disqualifies from any truth.
#needsajob


Truth Says:

Fske fed fanboys said Fed was terribly old & disabled.
Fed ego’s so fragile that he needs his trolls to pad his fake legacy.
Like the fake sportsmanship awards were stacked together for his ego.
The clown even boasted about these awards along with the cakewalk draws gifted to him for grass matches. He coincidentally didn’t play Davis Cup grass matches because his selfish life was more important.
Such a grass star begged for an injury to the laughable player Benneteau in order to win a cakewalk Wimbledon.
Fed played very well and still was beaten by Tsonga, a badly declining clown, from 2 sets up on grass.


Amit Says:

RZ

Hahahahahaha that’s so funny😜😜😜 thanks for sharing 😍😍😍 and you know friend, can’t wait for Wimbledon😬😋😋😋


J-Kath Says:

NK: I don’t know if it’s true about Roger, but it was true that Rafa and other players were “pee’ed off” with British taxes – apart from Wimbledon which all of them wanted to play, many prefer to play 500′s and 250′s elsewhere.


jatin Says:

Sometimes I wonder if HR is a rafa fan or fed fan.
Seriously.


lylenubbins Says:

@ matadaor: Fed is a 7 time Wimb champ who this year won AU plus sunshine Masters double. Murray and Joker are having problems. So Fed is the clear favorite IMO


James Says:

While Nadal has played unbelievably this year, his record at Wimbledon the last 5 years is quite bad – didn’t play last year, and is 5-4 in the previous 4 years. So 5 wins and 4 losses at Wimbledon in the last 5 years.

Also, his only slam other then the French, since 2010, was the 2013 US Open. The bounce at USO is higher than Wimbledon, that helps.

So while there is a chance Nadal could do quite well at Wimbledon this year, I wouldn’t put him in the top 5. I am not sure he can beat Cilic, Murray, even Zverev or Raonic on grass. F-Lo might give him trouble on grass. Not to talk of Federer. And remember, some of the Nadal demons are out of Fed’s head (though not entirely). Cilic played quite well at Queens (did he lose his serve at all??). F-Lo obviously did well. Zverev is a strong on grass too. Khachanov wasn’t too bad either. Any of these players can beat Nadal if they have a good day (even if Nadal has a good day).


SG1 Says:

Can’t blame Queens for selecting other players they felt were more deserving. Particularly if Federer wasn’t Federer yet. Given that Federer is very wealthy because of his fans more than anything else, you’d think he’d enter Queens so that his fans that can’t go to Wimbledon can at least have a chance to see him. I understand that Federer is loyal to Halle but at some point you have to let the grudges go. Queens is the 2nd most prestigious grass court event. I’m sure that if Federer ever needed a WC at this point from Queens they’d give it to him at the expense of another young player with a lesser resume.

All of the above said, 7 Wimbledon titles and 10 finals says all there is to say about Fed’s preparation. He knows what’s best for him.


SG1 Says:

Federer looked extraordinary against Zverev.

One of the things I really like about this Ljubicic partnership is that they genuinely look at strategy together.

They collectively (and correctly) postulated that Nadal was milking the backhand to buy time in points and found a way to take that time away. Against Zverev, they planned on a heavy dose of drop shots and variety to keep the big guy off balance and prevent him from slugging away. Of course it helps that the guy you’re coaching has the biggest bag of tricks out there.


SG1 Says:

When Roger was teamed up with Edberg, they tried the SABR tactic. It was a gimmicky thing that has some merit but doesn’t really work with the upper echelon guys.

Luby and Federer really seem to have clicked and are finding new and creative ways to beat opponents. It’s pretty awesome actually. I wonder what they have in store for Novak when he gets back on track.


J-Kath Says:

James:

Cilic lost serve several times in tiebreak which led to his defeat.


Humble Rafa Says:

I am resting. But when I rise, big things happen. Wimbledon, here I come. To conquer.


Humble Rafa Says:

Some people go through coaches like they are girlfriends. Humble ain’t one of them. I take care of Uncle Toni like family.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I was away this weekend, very excited to read of Fed’s victory. What a miracle season for him! This is a victory lap to remember.

SG1, I think you hit the nail on the head, re Halle/Queens. The reasons Fed played Halle initially are history. Now its preparation. He’s won 8 Wimbledons, plus a couple finals. If I were him, I would not change my Wimbledon prep.

The oddsmakers had Fed and Murray 1 and 2 but very close together last week. This week they’ve put Fed far out front.

Its a relatively open tournament: Fed is at about 2:1, while Rafa for example, was near even odds at the French. When the favourite is 35, and prior to Australia, had not won a Slam in 4 years, naturally its going to be pretty open.

No doubt, Federer is in the best position. I wouldn’t sell Rafa short here: he’s going to be bursting with confidence, and that’s when he hits those deadly deep forehands. Lets not forget, also, that his biggest improvement this year has been his serve, especially his second serve. That change alone puts him at a big advantage over his recent efforts.

Murray really found his form at the end of RG. I want to say that’s more important than one freak loss, but losing to a player ranked, what, 200?, is a worrying sign.

I’m still not buying in to Cilic – Thiem or Zverev or Raonic all have better shots.

Has Kyrgios confirmed he’s playing?


James Says:

J-Kath, in tie breaks its called “mini breaks”, not really break of serve.

Some of the best coaches are ex-players who played at the highest level but were never extraordinarily talented or gifted. Someone like Brad Gilbert, Norman, etc. Ljubicic might be in that category. Edberg was uniquely gifted – perhaps the best volleyer ever. Players like that rarely make good coaches. I think Federer will make a bad coach – supremely talented players can never fully understand how to work through bottlenecks the hard way. Perhaps Ljubicic, also with a one-handed backhand, gave Federer some useful insights about how to work through his bottleneck with Nadal and others.


Willow Says:

RZ and Jalep I Will miss the first week of Wimbledon as i am going away, i really hope i have time to fill out a bracket challenge before i go away on Saturday morning, if your doing one ? ….


Amit Says:

Rafa and Fed are my picks to do best this year at Wimbledon.. One of them is gonna win I think… But I certainly would hate Federer to face either Cilic/Kyrgios… Cilic and Kyrgios are the deadliest players… If they click,they can beat anyone including even Rafa/Fed,despite Fed/Rafa playing really well.. I think Rafans too must dislike the idea of Rafa facing Cilic/kyrgios.. Coz if someone can beat the best Rafa on grass, that us only Fed or a superb Cilic/Kyrgios.. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Kyrgios or Cilic win Wimbledon.. Last year Cilic almost beat Fed.. So watch out Fedal fans!!! Cilic and Kyrgios are going to be pretty tough if they are having their day… 😰😰😰


RZ Says:

Hi Willow, yes I will set up the ATP bracket challenge. Hopefully I can do this on Friday, otherwise it would be Saturday.


jalep Says:

Hi Willow

I will try to get the WTA bracket set up as soon as I can when the draw comes out! Sure hope it stops raining in GB — for tennis and for your holiday :)


Willow Says:

Hi RZ and Jalep many thanks lovely ladies, and Jalep i hope so too, although for much of it we we will be in a campervan, and visiting friends :-) ….


J-Kath Says:

James:

OK. But it is a little bit like saying “you say potatoes and I say potAtoes”.


Colin Says:

Ah, the perils of forecasting!
The other day Daniel said the Wimbledon seedings would be:
1 Murray,2 Federer,3 Djoko, 4 Nadal.

The seedings are now published, and read thus:
1 Murray, 2 Djoko, 3 Federer, 4 Nadal


skeezer Says:

Those seedinds are perfect. If Fedal gets through by chance they will only face each other in the final👍


Willow Says:

How things change, at one time Fed fans used to say, i hope they are in the same half as some thought at the time Fed would stand a better chance if he met Rafa in a semi, and i hope Fed and Djoker were on opposite sides, for a better chance of their two favorites meeting in the final, things seem different now that Fed has won some of their more recent battles hmm ….


James Says:

So much for Thiem. Lost to this unknown guy ranked 222! Overrated. He hits the ball hard, but has far less strategy and court positioning – Zverev is much better than him, will go farther.


SG1 Says:

I’m not sure that strategy is Thiem’s issue. He plays a very physical game for a guy with a one handed backhanded. He seems to be almost coming out of his shoes on every shot. It just seems that he expends an awful lot of energy on each stroke which is fine when you’re playing people outside the top 10. But, the guys inside the top 10 seem much more efficient at generating power. Stan and Roger can hit the daylights out of a tennis ball but they never seem to be using excessive effort to do it. When you’re playing as physical a game as Thiem does it has to take a toll. When you get to the last couple of rounds of a major where the competition is best, there may not be enough left in his tank.


SG1 Says:

It may be a conditioning issue. He also has longer than normal strokes. Lots of moving parts in the wind-up and it all uses up energy. Perhaps unnecessary energy.


Daniel Says:

Colin,

I retracted myself as I was computing Djoko last year Wimbleodsn loss in R2, but it were actually in R3, so Fed had no chance at #2 seed once he lost early in Stutgart. BY mid last week I posted already that if Fed won Halle he would be third seed;-)

Hope for Fed to be in Djoko´s side and Nadal and Murray semis. Want to see both matches again before a potential final. Murray never beat Nadal in Wimbledon and Fed may get another shot at Djoko.

Also hope Djoko wins Eastbourne to regaing some confidence entering Wimbledon.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Willow, purely as a Fed fan, I’d like them in the same half as I don’t expect Rafa to make the finals and I’d like them to meet.

James, what strategy do you see in Zverev? I’ve only seen him a little but he seems extremely predictable.

Is Thiem still standing 20 feet behind the baseline? That won’t fly on grass. How did he beat Fed on grass last year??


Willow Says:

TV I Havent any expectations when it comes to Nadal at W, and to be honest i will miss the first week of Wimbledon as i am going away, so when i come back a week on Monday i will be pleasantly surprised if hes still in the tournament, as for the whos in each half i dont really care personally, other than i dont really care for Novak / Andy finals anymore, oh well perhaps i care a little lol ….


steve-o Says:

I don’t think Edberg was a bad coach at all. Remember, Federer was number #6 when he started with Edberg, and under Edberg, he rose to #2, started winning more titles again (including several Masters), and made multiple major finals in a single year (something he hadn’t done since 2009).

Edberg, Annacone, etc. were from an older generation, before power baseliners with powerful rackets took over. The game they know is one where serve-and-volley players could dominate anyone on fast surfaces. They figured improving Federer’s net skills would be enough by itself to overcome his opponents’ advantage in power and endurance. That was not quite the case, even with the new racket (although to put things in perspective, in 2015, it was enough to beat everyone except one guy, the world #1 player who was literally beating everyone!)

Ljubicic, unlike all of Federer’s previous coaches, actually played against Federer’s contemporaries and younger rivals like Nadal and Djokovic. He actually knows from experience how they play, and the power and weight of their shots. He understands how the modern game works: baseline rallies are an essential part of the game, no way around it. He also had a one-handed backhand, so he also understood the difficulties Federer had against opponents who would pound that side. But his was flatter than Federer’s.

Federer has a very specific use for coaches. He doesn’t need them for emotional or motivational support (although perhaps the highly underrated Lüthi does provide him with some of those things). He needs coaches with great tennis minds who can provide a counterpoint to his own thinking about tennis, and who can suggest new tactical approaches.

He learns what they have to teach, then moves on. For instance, he worked with Higueras to deal with the drop shot. Higueras’s collaboration with Federer ended long ago, but Federer keeps using the drop shot and devising new ways to use it. Like a tree trunk, he’s always adding new layers to his game. But the old layers don’t disappear, they remain in place. The SABR he picked up from Edberg is still there, so is the volley work he put in under Annacone. He retains everything he learns, he just uses it in different ways.

I think Federer would make an excellent coach, as he has a deep understanding of fundamentals and is highly analytical. He is capable of playing many different styles of tennis.

Even if his charge didn’t have the same immense arsenal of shots he does, he’d be able to size up his charge’s strengths and advise him on how to make the best use of them and protect his weaknesses.

A player like Sampras, who has a special freak physical talent that no one else has, is unlikely to be a good coach. He used his mighty serve and explosiveness at net to play a kind of tennis that can’t be replicated. In some sense he doesn’t know what “percentage tennis” is, he can’t teach anyone else how to play–at least if they don’t have his peculiar combination of abilities.

My pick for top players who would make good coaches: Roddick, Hewitt, Agassi. Players with a deep analytical ability and understanding of shot selection and tactical nous. Of course, being a coach requires other things: ability to communicate and empathize with one’s player, etc.


skeezer Says:

steve-o
Great intuitive post, but don’t know about your selections for what players would make good coaches 😕


skeezer Says:

@SG1
Re; Thiem. Description; Too much flailing, not enough form.

Top story: Federer v Zverev, Djokovic v Anderson At ATP Finals Saturday