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Sports Shorts: Magnificent seven for Federer in Halle

Last updated on: June 15, 2014 22:31 IST

Sports Shorts: Magnificent seven for Federer in Halle

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Roger Federer stepped up his preparations for Wimbledon by winning the Gerry Weber Open for a seventh time with a 7-6(2), 7-6(3) win over Columbia's Alejandro Falla on Sunday.

The 32-year-old was forced to work hard to overcome a stubborn Falla, who refused to roll over against his illustrious opponent.

"I've left a little bit of my heart there," Federer said, after his seventh victory in nine Halle finals.

"My big goal for the week was to collect the title, play good tennis and have fun. I've done that."

The 17-times Grand Slam champion served for the first set at 5-3 only to get broken by Falla, who was chasing his first ATP title.

With the tiebreak locked at 2-2 Federer's class told as he stepped up the tempo to reel off five points to take the set.

That momentum continued into the second set with the Swiss breaking Falla in his first service game but he once again failed to capitalise and was immediately broken back.

The players headed into a second tiebreak and after Federer romped to a 3-0 lead, his 69th-ranked opponent faded away to suffer his seventh defeat in as many meetings with the Swiss.

"He's the king of kings of tie-breaks," Falla said.

"Overall I played very well throughout the whole week and I want to keep it up."

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Image: Roger Federer
Photographs: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

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Ivanovic wins first grass-court title at Edgbaston

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Ana Ivanovic warmed up for Wimbledon by capturing her first grasscourt title with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the Czech Republic's Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the Aegon Classic in Edgbaston, on Sunday.

The former world number one dropped her serve in the opening game but from then on dominated the contest to win her third title of the season and 14th overall.

"I couldn't ask for better preparation [for Wimbledon] than to win my first title on grass," the Serbian said after following in the footsteps of players such as Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova by winning the tournament in Edgbaston.

"It definitely feels very special, not just to win my first title on grass, but to put my name next to champions like that.

"Hopefully they can help me with my smashes!" she added, referring to a few missed overheads in the final.

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Image: Ana Ivanovic
Photographs: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

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Kapur tied 23rd at US Open, eyes best finish by an Indian

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A battling Shiv Kapur capped a roller-coaster third round with a one-over 71 that saw him move 10 places up the leaderboard to tied 23rd in the US Open golf tournament in Pinehurst.

Kapur's 71 on the third day comprised five birdies and six bogeys and he is now four-over 214 for three days.

Meanwhile, up on the leaderboard, Martin Kaymer (72) slipped a little after two successive 65s, but he was still five shots clear of the field.

At eight-under, Kaymer was five ahead of Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton, both of whom shot 67 each and were the only players in red numbers.

Five other carded even par 70 and Kapur was among the six players who shot 71 each.

"I am striking the ball very well and the putting has also been fine. The course is set up really tough even without the roughs, but the pin positions and the greens are a challenge," said Kapur.

"That's how it is in the Majors and it is a new challenge every round and I am really liking it here at this level."

Kapur is 12 shots behind Kaymer, but he could well become the best Indian finisher at US Open, where the previous best is tied 36th by Jeev Milkha Singh in 2007.

Jeev's tied ninth at the 2008 PGA Championships is also the best by an Indian at any Major.

Kapur had a bogey-bogey start after the slopes took the ball away from the greens on a day when the greens were tough and pin positions very tricky.

But he birdied three in a row from fourth to sixth and added a fourth birdie on the ninth.

His driving and iron play was superb and he gave himself a lot of chances getting inside 10-12 feet and holing those birdie putts.

At the turn, Kapur was two-under and at the stage the only one in red numbers. But the course and luck went against him as he dropped four bogeys in five holes from 12th to 16th.

In at least two cases the ball again slid off the slope and pushed him to bogeys.

The birdie on the 18th ensured he would leave the course with a smile and in a positive frame of mind to come back and make a good charge on the final day.

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Image: Shiv Kapur
Photographs: Warren Little/Getty Images

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Poonia finishes 3rd in US, eyes C'wealth Games qualification

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On a training-cum-competition stint in the United States, ace Indian discus thrower Krishna Poonia finished third in an international competition with an effort below the Glasgow Commonwealth Games qualifying standard set by Athletics Federation of India.

Poonia, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion, hurled the discus to 58.26 metres, which is below the Games qualifying standard of 58.46m.

She achieved her best mark of the day in her third attempt in the 2014 Imperial Section of USATF Championships, at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Centre, San Diego, on Saturday.

Poonia, who has been training at the Olympic Training Centre to prepare for the Commonwealth Games, said she has regained full fitness from her groin injury and should be in top form before the Games.

"I have regained full fitness and I am hoping to cross the qualifying standard soon," she said.

Meanwhile, men's discus throw national record holder and Glasgow Games medal prospect Vikas Gowda finished eighth in a field of 10 with a throw of 61.49 in the sixth leg of the IAAF Diamond League Meetings.

US-based Gowda had already crossed the AFI qualifying standard of 60.45m for the 2014 Commonwealth Games after he recorded a throw of 65.62m in Tucson, Arizona, last month for his season's best, which is also the leading mark in Asia for the season.

Gowda had won a silver in the first leg of Diamond League Meetings in Doha on May 10 with a throw of 63.23m.

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Image: Krishna Poonia
Photographs: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

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