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.
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