In less than two months, Roger Federer will turn 38 and he is still among the best players in the world, capable of reaching the semi-final at clay Major and lift Masters 1000 title in the first half of 2019. Unlike in 2017 and 2018, Roger couldn't conquer the Australian Open but he managed to go all the way in Dubai and Miami, claiming the 100th title in a career and showing he is still capable of fighting for Masters crowns after back-to-back finals at Indian Wells and Miami.
Also, there was another significant change in comparison to the previous two seasons, with Roger returning to clay courts for the first time since Rome 2016, losing in the quarter-final in Madrid, withdrawing at the same stage in Rome and saving his best tennis for Roland Garros.
Four years after the last appearance in Paris, Roger was on the mission during the 2019 campaign, using the favorable draw to score four straight sets wins, ousting a former champion Stan Wawrinka to hit the last four where Rafael Nadal proved to be too strong, beating the Swiss 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
With nothing to regret after such a solid performance, Roger had taken well-deserved rest before returning to his beloved grass, arriving in Halle on Saturday and watching some qualifying action ahead of his 17th main draw appearance at one of the most prestigious grass-court tournaments after Wimbledon.
Together with Rafael Nadal, Roger is the only player in the Open era with nine ATP titles at the single event, achieving that in the hometown of Basel and here in Halle where he has won 63 out of 70 matches since 2000! Settling in Halle ever since 2000, Roger has forged the status of a legend there, reaching 12 out of 13 finals since 2003 and lifting nine titles overall, four in the last six years.
Between 2003-06, 2008, 2013-15 and 2017, Federer was the player to beat in Halle, delivering some of his greatest victories on beloved grass and getting his street in Halle back in 2012, the famous Roger-Federer-Allee! A year ago, Roger fired 70 winners against Borna Coric in the title match which wasn't enough for victory, losing only the third final in Halle (29 straight wins between 2003-2010) and looking determined to regain the crown next week, opening the campaign against John Millman.
Recharging batteries and leaving successful clay campaign behind him, Federer is ready to rumble again on the fastest surface, scoring 176 triumphs on grass and lifting 18 trophies to stand on the throne as the greatest grass-court player of the Open era, eager to show that again in the week ahead of us.
"It's such a familiar place for me, a piece of home in the tennis world. I always feel very well here. I'm fresh I'm rested, I have no physical problems," said Federer.