Roger Federer wins his eighth title in Halle. In a close two set match, surprise finalist Andreas Seppi put up a veritable challenge and had chances for the upset. The Italian was ultimately unable to put a halt to the Federer festivities in Halle, which came to the glorious conclusion the crowd had wanted.Embed from Getty Images
During the first set, neither Federer nor Seppi came out all guns blazing. The Italian appeared somewhat tentative during the opening exchanges; his second serves were attackable, but Federer struggled to exploit them — burying several of Seppi’s 81 mph deliveries into the net.
At 3-3 40-40, Federer felt a few raindrops and requested the roof to be closed. When Roger Federer says it’s raining in Halle — it’s raining in Halle. The timing seemed inauspicious — it was the first game in which the Swiss came close to a break, and his Italian opponent was in a tight spot.
“To have a break of 10 minutes certainly isn’t common, let’s put it that way. It was a little weird, particularly to find rhythm again on serve but it wasn’t too bad. I held so overall I guess it didn’t matter too much.” Seppi told press after the match.Embed from Getty Images
Though the roof takes but 88 seconds to close, the break nonetheless lagged longer. Seppi held on to his serve upon the resumption and began to settle into the match. The Italian even had two set points on the Federer serve at 4-5, but the top seed fired down two aces to ensure he’d stay in the set.
“I think what I did very well here in the tiebreakers; I served well — which you have to on the grass — I was able to mix it up, so I created a good pattern going into the tiebreaker,” said a very pleased Federer.
In the tiebreak, the Swiss rifled a forehand winner down the line to begin with and, after a successful volley and an ace, found himself into a quick lead. Seppi never managed to recover the mini-break and to cap it all off, the World No. 45 hit his first double fault of the match to surrender the set.
“I had two set points and on both of those he served well so it wasn’t anything I could do about it, really. That’s what makes him such a top player: his ability to serve well in the crucial moments. It’s a bit of a shame that the tiebreak went away so quickly — I was down 0-4 immediately and that’s when it got really difficult.”
The crowd favorite quickly held to love in the second set, but Seppi didn’t fade away, holding a breap point to go up 3-2, but a backhand passing shot failed to clear the net.
With Seppi serving to stay in the match at 4-5, Federer launched several backhand rockets down the line to catch his opponent off guard, wrapping up the his eighth title in Halle — his 15th on grass overall.
“This week has been great if I look at the whole thing. I don’t think I got broken the last four matches I played. First match was extremely close. but I think I won all the tiebreakers this week, which gives big confidence, knowing that in the crucial moments my game was right there.”
Seppi is entered into Nottingham but he’ll have to see whether he’ll play the event. The Italian suffered from a hip issue during the clay season and will evaluate whether he’s going to make a trip or give his body some rest.
“In the end I had a lot of matches and I’ll have to see how it goes. Essentially I played a full two weeks now after being out for quite a while and I’ll just have to see over the next couple of days.”
For Federer, the preparation for Wimbledon couldn’t have yielded a better result. The World No. 2 will now get to rest for a few days and then commence practicing in London, hoping to celebrate an 8th victory at Wimbledon as well.
“I’m hoping for the best and that it’s a perfect super omen for me. Eight is actually my favorite number, and I’m in the 80s with my titles overall. But Wimbledon isn’t a no-brainer — I’ll have to wait for the draw, recover with the good feeling from Halle and then prepare for my first match in Wimbledon.”
And with that our coverage of Halle is almost over.
Tomorrow we’ll start previewing Wimbledon and talk Eastbourne.