Everyone expected Halle final to be amazing, but probably no one could think Roger Federer could win so easily. The Swiss player defeated Alexander Zverev 6/1 6/3 to win his 92th career-title. 'I expected it to be difficult', the World No.
5 admitted in press conference. 'Watching yesterday, the way he was playing Gasquet, I was wondering what if he won, what if Gasquet won and when he won I thought it was going to be difficult because he played me here really really well last year.
He played me well at the Hopman Cup. It's been difficult for me against him the last couple of times. But this morning all of a sudden I got a good feeling about this when I spoke tactics with Ivan and I felt I wanted to play on my terms and not be too passive like I was maybe against Khachanov at times.
But then again that doesn’t buy you much, you know, I still had to get off to a good start in the beginning. I did. And from then on I was able to really start cruising well and fast in the match which is great and I never let down.
So, it was great.' Federer who had lost to Tommy Haas in his first match at Stuttgart last week: '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.
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 often plays singles and doubles. Is it positive physically? 'It's good to be match tough, you know. Back in the days, I did the same. At his age, I used to play doubles at Wimbledon even and doubles at the US Open.
So, that was normal for us to do that. Back in the days, you even played as a number one player in the world singles, doubles and mixed and sometimes played ten sets a day. So, it’s just that we have gotten accustomed that better ranked players don’t play so much doubles anymore and if they do it’s a mistake.
I think it’s wrong. I think it’s great what he’s doing. He’s working on his game. He can spend some time with his brother. This also goes down for him personally and also Mischa and his parents down as a very important phase of their career and at the same time he’s learning, he’s getting tougher and of course there is moments when he shouldn’t play, you know.
But here he was always going to stay till the end and he’s still having a great tournament regardless of how it's going to go in the doubles. What he did yesterday to win the match after winning the singles already was great effort.
So, I admire that.' Taking this win, going forward into Wimbledon, has your expectation changed? 'I will take couple of days off and then start practicing there again, see how conditions are over there really, wait for the draw to come out, see what day I’m playing and then take it day by day really.
That’s pretty simple. Winning it would be so beautiful especially for my team, fans, family, country. It would be something beyond palmares or record books.' Asked what winning Halle means ahead of Wimbledon, Roger replied: 'I hope it helps – but unfortunately the tournament win here doesn’t give me a wildcard into the Wimbledon semifinals.
Everything starts from zero. But it feels amazing to play that well after such a long break, just to get that confidence and that feel and fun for the game. Usually I’m not really superstitious but 2003 I won here for the first time and afterwards I also did it in Wimbledon, so we’ll just see how it goes.' 'I think Roger is playing really, really well', Zverev admitted.
'I think going into Wimbledon he's going to be probably the favourite to win the whole thing. 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... I think he deserved to win', Zverev said. 'I think it was a very good week for me again making the finals here. Of course I'm upset with the loss, but going into Wimbledon I feel very confident I can make a deep run there.'