GERRY WEBER OPEN
HALLE, Germany — If there is one place for Roger Federer to end a title drought, then it’s Halle, a small town in western Germany that has a big tennis stadium and a Roger-Federer-Allee leading to it.
Federer walked down that alley a winner again Sunday, ending a 10-month run of 11 tournaments without a title, an eternity by his standards.
The 31-year-old Swiss overcame a sluggish start to beat unseeded Mikhail Youzhny 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 at the Gerry Weber Open for his first title since Cincinnati in August.
Returning to grass in his favourite warm-up for Wimbledon, it took the top-seeded Federer until the middle of the second set to come out of his lethargy and start hitting shots with confidence against a player he had never lost to in 14 previous career matches. It was the first final on the tour this year involving players 30 or older.
“I’ve won a lot but not so much in the last 10 months, although I feel I’d been playing well,” Federer said. “But the others were playing better.”
Federer earned his sixth title in Halle in 11 appearances (eight finals) and his first since 2008. Four of Federer’s seven Wimbledon titles have come after triumphs in Halle — including his first Halle and Wimbledon championships in 2003.
The former top-ranked player, who is now No. 3, won his 77th career title, pulling him even with John McEnroe at third on the all-time list. Jimmy Connors won 109 and Ivan Lendl 94.
Federer will be looking to add to his record 17 Grand Slam championships when he defends his title at Wimbledon.
“I feel fit, I feel confident, I’m excited about what’s to come,” Federer said. “I’m very pleased with how I played this week.”
FOR THIRD TIME
LONDON — Top-seeded Andy Murray rallied to beat defending champion Marin Cilic 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 on Sunday to win the Queen’s Club tournament for the third time.
It was the 27th career title for the Briton, who also claimed the trophy in 2009 and ’11, and his second of the season after winning at Miami in March.
Murray’s victory came in his first tournament since he was forced to withdraw from the French Open with a back injury.
“I worked very hard in the time that I had off to try and get myself in the best shape possible,” Murray said.
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