Federer triumphs again Halle, Lopez saves championship point at Queen’s Club

Playing in his 11th career final at the Gerry Weber Open, Roger Federer captured his ninth title at the event by destroying Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-3 on Sunday afternoon. Federer fired four aces without double-faulting and fought off the only break point he faced to triumph in a mere 53 minutes.

“It’s great to get off to a good start in the finals and then remind yourself that you’ve been playing good tennis all week,” the 35-year-old Swiss said. “You start swinging freely, things start clicking, you realize your opponent is under pressure and you keep pressuring him. I’m like on cloud nine right now after the ninth win here in Halle. It’s a wonderful feeling to win here again because I’m not sure if I’ll ever get a chance to win this again so it’s important to enjoy this one.”

Perhaps it was especially enjoyable for Federer because he needed a strong showing in Halle after losing his 2017 grass-court debut to Tommy Haas in last week’s Stuttgart first round.

“I was doubting myself a little bit, I must admit, because losing first round for the first time in 15 years on grass was always going to shake me a little bit and it did,” the 18-time Grand Slam champion noted. “So I’m happy to react right away and let that be forgotten and actually move on and remind myself I actually can play well on grass. It’s a boost for me personally, with my confidence, knowing that my body is in good shape. Mentally, I’m fresh again and I’ve gotten used to match play.”

“I think Roger is playing really, really well,” added Zverev, for whom it was a particularly bad day at the office–as he also lost the doubles final. “I think going into Wimbledon he’s going to be probably the favorite to win the whole thing. So credits to him; he played an unbelievable match.”

A much more competitive match took place at the AEGON Championships, where Feliciano Lopez saved a championship point before outlasting Marin Cilic 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(8) in two hours and 31 minutes. Lopez had previously been 0-4 in his last four matches against Cilic–including 0-2 at Queen’s Club and having just been clobbered 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in the third round of the French Open earlier this month.

The veteran Spaniard survived match point with a lunging volley at 5-6 in the decisive tiebreaker that continued an eventual streak of 14 consecutive points without a mini-break. He set up a third championship point of his own with an ace at 8-8 before Cilic erred on a forehand to end it.

“It’s tough to believe at 35 years old that I’m playing my best tennis,” Lopez concluded, but yes I am.”

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