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PIX: Federer primed for Wimbledon after 10th Halle crown

Last updated on: June 23, 2019 22:24 IST

Roger Federer

IMAGE: Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates with his trophy alongside runner-up Belgium's David Goffin after winning the Halle Open on Sunday. Photograph: Leon Kuegeler/Reuters

Roger Federer warmed up for next month's Wimbledon championships by swatting aside David Goffin 7-6(2), 6-1 to win the Halle Open title for the 10th time on Sunday.

The Swiss fired seven aces and broke Goffin's serve three times to down his Belgian opponent in 83 minutes for his 102nd tour-level title that moved him to within seven of Jimmy Connors's record.

 

It was also the 19th tour-level title on grass for the 37-year-old, who will be among the top contenders at Wimbledon as he looks to increase his Grand Slam haul of 20 trophies.

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

After being dragged to three sets in two of his first three rounds in Germany, Federer looked set for another tough fight when world number 33 Goffin earned three consecutive break points at 2-2 in the opening set.

However, Goffin failed to capitalise on those chances as his opponent took the set to a tiebreak where he switched gears to take the early lead in the contest.

Federer broke quickly in the second set and did not allow Goffin back into the match, becoming become the oldest tour-level champion since a 43-year-old Ken Rosewall prevailed in Hong Kong in 1977.

Wimbledon begins on July 1 with Federer seeking a ninth title at the tournament.

Lopez beats Simon to Queen's title in thriller

Feliciano Lopez

Spain's Feliciano Lopez celebrates with the trophy after defeating France's Gilles Simon in the Queen's Club final. Photograph: Tony O'Brien/Reuters

Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez won the Queen's Club grasscourt title for the second time in three editions as he outlasted Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-6(2) in an absorbing and high-quality final on Sunday.

With Simon aged 34 it was one of the oldest Queen's finals but the two veterans served up a classic for the packed crowd.

Wildcard Lopez, whose ranking has slipped to 113, wasted a match point in the 12th game of the contest but a sensational volley put him in 5-2 ahead in the deciding tiebreak and he made no mistake at the second time of asking.

Simon netted a volley at 2-6 and Lopez could celebrate his first title since winning the prestigious Queen's crown in 2017.

"I thought the best moment of my career was in 2017 but it was not, it's right now," Lopez said before making a moving tribute to his watching wife-to-be Sandra Gago.

"She might have heard of this leftie Spanish player but I've not won many matches since we met.

"Now I can say to her I'm a decent player."

Both players appeared to be running on fumes towards the end but there was no rest for Lopez who was due back on court about 30 minutes later as co-star to British favourite Andy Murray in the men's doubles final.

World number 38 Simon had spent 12 sets and nearly 11 hours on court to reach his first final on grass since losing to Lopez at Eastbourne in 2013.

He looked flat as he dropped serve twice to lose the opener but his metronomic groundstrokes began to punch some holes in Lopez's game and he dragged the second set into a tiebreak.

Lopez moved 4-2 ahead but Simon crunched a superb backhand winner to close the gap and then chased down a drop shot to pass the Spaniard at the net as he swing the breaker his way.

A tense third set saw both players fail to convert a flurry of early break points but Lopez pressed hard with Simon serving at 5-6 when a punishing forehand return brought up match point.

He snatched a forehand into the net though and Simon held after 12 minutes to set up a tiebreak climax.

Simon, bidding to become the first Frenchman to win the title in the professional era, served his first double-fault of the match at 2-3 and then watched in disbelief as Lopez picked off his dipping backhand pass with a lunging volley.

There was to be no stopping Lopez then as he became the first wildcard to win the prestigious pre-Wimbledon title since American Pete Sampras 20 years ago.

He could have been the oldest player to win a Tour-level title too since 43-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1977, but a few hours earlier Roger Federer claimed that honour in Halle.

Barty guarantees rise to world number one

Australia's Ashleigh Barty poses with Germany's Julia Goerges after winning the Birmingham Classic grasscourt title on Sunday.

IMAGE: Australia's Ashleigh Barty, right, poses with Germany's Julia Goerges after winning the Birmingham Classic grasscourt title on Sunday. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Ashleigh Barty will become the first Australian in 43 years to climb to the top of the WTA singles ranking after she won the Birmingham Classic grasscourt title on Sunday.

The 23-year-old beat Germany's Julia Goerges 6-3, 7-5 in the final, meaning she will knock Japan's Naomi Osaka off the summit when the new rankings are released on Monday.

"It's been the most incredible journey for me and my team," Barty said on court after a standing ovation and a warm hug from her doubles partner Goerges.

"You always dream about (being number one) as a little kid but for it to become a reality it's incredible and not something that was even in my realm, we were aiming for top 10 this year.

"We started from scratch three and a half years ago without a ranking and now to be where we are is a massive achievement for me and my team."

Barty's route to the top has been an unconventional one.

The former junior Wimbledon champion took an indefinite break from tennis at the end of 2014, recently citing mental health issues as the reason, and played Big Bash cricket for Brisbane Heat before returning to the sport in 2016.

Since then the Queenslander's rise has been remarkable.

This month she became the first Australian woman to win the French Open for 46 years, and now she has become the 27th woman to reach number one since WTA rankings were introduced in 1975.

Despite the prize at stake, Barty looked calm and composed throughout the final against doubles partner Goerges on Sunday.

Her only moment of concern was when she faced a set point at 4-5 in the second, but she fired down an ace. Two games later a Goerges error confirmed Barty's coronation.

The last Australian woman to reach the number one ranking was Evonne Goolagong in 1976 although it only came to light 31 years later after the discovery of an error in the records.

Like Goolagong, Barty is proud of her indigenous Australian heritage, with her father having Ngarigo ancestry through one of his grandmothers.

"I'm a little bit speechless, it's been a whirlwind few weeks to be honest and to be able to follow in the footsteps of Evonne and even mentioned in the same sentence is incredible," Barty, who will now be top seed at Wimbledon, said.

"What she has done for our sport and Australians all around the world, she put us on the map, and what she has done for indigenous Australians is remarkable."

There will be no elaborate celebrations for Barty, however, as she said she was getting straight in a car to head own to Eastbourne to continue her Wimbledon preparations.

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