Roger Federer fires 70 winners and still loses. Find out how

Roger Federer lost the 2018 Halle final to Borna Coric in three sets

by Jovica Ilic
Roger Federer fires 70 winners and still loses. Find out how
© Thomas F. Starke / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Roger Federer punched 70 winners against Borna Coric in the 2018 Halle final. However, instead of securing his tenth title at the favorite event, Roger experienced a heavy 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 loss in two hours and six minutes. Federer claimed the Stuttgart crown a week earlier, standing as the favorite in Halle and reaching the title clash.

However, he did not play at his best, struggling en route to the final and losing ground against Coric in the decider. The Croat came to Halle with two ATP wins on grass. However, Borna presented his A-game and secured his career-best title against an eight-time Wimbledon winner.

Coric became the sixth player to beat Federer in a grass-court final, joining Rafael Nadal, Lleyton Hewitt, Tommy Haas, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. It was a tough loss for Roger, who won nine points more than Borna. The Swiss controlled the pace with his first serve and built a clear advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes.

Roger landed a winner in 70 out of 97 points he won.

Roger Federer lost to Borna Coric in the 2018 Halle final.

However, he sprayed 40 errors, unable to tame his strokes in the decisive moments. Borna fired 49 winners and 27 errors, staying in touch with a great rival and overpowering him in the final set for his first ATP 500 crown.

Roger claimed 33% of the return points but not the crucial ones. He converted one out of four break points and lost serve two times from three opportunities offered to Borna. Federer had the upper hand in the opening two sets, losing 12 points behind the initial shot and keeping the pressure on Coric.

The Swiss squandered three set points in the opener, which proved crucial for his loss. Borna survived all the challenges and stepped in after the second set, saving the best for the last and emerging as a deserved winner against the most demanding rival on this surface.

Roger fired 40 service winners and 30 from the court, most from his volley and forehand. Borna did his best to stay aggressive and not let Roger dictate the points. The young gun landed 28 unreturned serves and 21 from the court, including ten from his forehand that worked like a charm.

Roger built a 21-point lead in the winners department while making fewer unforced errors, 17 to 19. Borna had to give his best in the forced errors to make some ground and cut the deficit to stay competitive. He did that in style, hitting eight forced mistakes while Roger counted 22.

The veteran missed equally from both wings, struggling to match the rival's pace from the baseline in those points, especially in the more extended exchanges. Federer had the upper hand in the shortest points up to four strokes (67-52), mainly thanks to those service winners, and a 24-20 advantage in the mid-range rallies from five to eight strokes.

It gave him an enormous 91-72 lead in the points shorter than nine shots! Coric had to dig deep in the more challenging rallies to bypass that shortage, winning 17 of the 23 most prolonged exchanges to hang in and forge his triumph after a brilliant performance in the final set.

Roger Federer Borna Coric