Tennis

Roger Federer warms up for Wimbledon with 10th Halle title

Roger Federer will head to Wimbledon in high spirits, after waltzing past Belgium's David Goffin in straight sets to win a record-extending 10th title at the ATP event in Halle yesterday.

Federer, 37, beat Goffin 7-6 (7/2), 6-1 in 83 minutes to secure his 102nd career singles title and remain unbeaten on grass this season.

It is the first time the Swiss has reached double figures at an individual tournament.

He has triumphed eight times at both Wimbledon and the Dubai Open, and has won his home tournament in Basel on nine occasions.

"It's unbelievable. I never thought when I first played here that I would win 10 titles," said Federer.

"I've never won a tournament 10 times before, so I will remember forever that I did so here in Halle."

Federer is looking to extend his record of 20 career Majors at Wimbledon, which begins on July 1.

Long-term rival Rafael Nadal moved to within just two titles of Federer's record with his 12th French Open triumph earlier this month, while world No. 1 Novak Djokovic is just five short with 15 Majors.

Federer endured a rough ride in the early rounds in Halle, battling to hard-fought, three-set victories over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Roberto Bautista Agut.

Things got easier in the latter stages as he thrashed Andy Murray's new doubles partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the semi-finals before dispatching Goffin yesterday.

GIFTED

Federer held off three break-points early in the first set before prevailing in the tie-breaker.

An unsettled looking Goffin then gifted Federer the opening game of the second set with a double-fault on break-point.

From there, he never looked back, breaking Goffin twice more on his way to victory.

"I thought David was actually better than me in the first 10 games," said Federer.

World No. 33 Goffin added: "I thought I started really well, there was great intensity in the first set.

"I had opportunities, but you have to take them against Roger. This guy is pretty good." - AFP

Tennis