An 18-year-old Roger Federer made Halle debut back in 2000, forging instant chemistry with this pre-Wimbledon event and competing at one of his favorite stops in the calendar 17 times. Never losing before the quarter-final, Roger has won 68 out of 75 encounters at the Gerry Weber Open, reaching the final on 13 occasions and lifting ten titles for complete domination, earning a street with his name next to the stadium!
After a tough loss in 2018 to Borna Coric, Roger came back stronger the last week, regaining the title and writing history books as only the second player in the Open era with that many crowns at the single event after Rafael Nadal!
Playing on clay for the first time since 2016, Roger advanced into the last four at Roland Garros, losing to Rafa in straight sets and heading to his beloved grass with a lot of confidence. As was expected, the Swiss struggled a little bit to find the form on the fastest surface, prevailing in the crucial moments against John Millman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the semi-final where he was at his best against Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Roger needed 62 minutes to dismiss the Frenchman 6-3, 6-3, entering another final in Halle where David Goffin stood across the net as the last obstacle between him and the trophy. The Belgian was the better player in the opening set, dictating the pace in his games and failing to convert three break points at 2-2 that could have given him the necessary momentum.
As always that week, Roger fended them off and served better in the rest of the set to claim the tie break 7-2, moving a set away from the triumph and toppling the Belgian 6-1 in set number two, delivering three breaks to cross the finish line and earn the milestone title.
Thus, Roger has joined Rafa on that exclusive list of players who celebrated the double-digit at one tournament, becoming the first player who did that on grass to extend his dominance on the fastest surface in comparison to any other player in the last 50 years.
Federer first title in Halle came back in 2003, ahead of his first Wimbledon triumph, and it is incredible to see him at this level after so many years, still managing to outplay much younger rivals with brave and attacking tennis.
Halle was Roger's 19th ATP title on grass, leaving Pete Sampras on ten and Jimmy Connors on nine to confirm his status of the best grass-court player of the Open era once again, at the age of 37! As well all know, Rafael Nadal has been the dominant figure on clay for the last 15 years, lifting 12 titles at Roland Garros and adding 11 in Monte Carlo and Barcelona to stand at the top of the charts before Roger accompanied him there last Sunday.