Roger Federer made history on Saturday in Hall, defeating David Goffin 7-6 (2), 6-1 to win a record 10th NOVENTI OPEN title. Rafael Nadal as the only men in the open Era to accomplish the feat.
This is Federer's 102nd tour-level title, moving to within seven trophies of Jimmy Connors' record of 109. It's also the Swiss star's 19th tour-level victory on grass.
Only four other active players own at least 19 titles on all surfaces combined. Federer is also the oldest tour-level champion since 43-year-old Ken Rosewall at 1977 in Hong Kong, giving him plenty of momentum as he heads to Wimbledon to pursue his ninth title at the grass-court Grand Slam.
No. 10 in Halle did not come easily, though. Federer had to fight through two three-setters in his first three matches of the week. FedEx ATP's Head2Head meetings against the top seed, which has been featured in the semi-finals of the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals.
Goffin looked comfortable in early rallies, especially those of the backhand-to-backhand variety. Federer started to run around his backhand to strike forehands even more than he usually does. And at 2-2 in the opener, the Belgian earned three consecutive break points.
And Although Federer did not earn a break point in the first set, he was able to serve his way to a tie-break. Goffin, later winning the set when the Belgian launches a forehand return long.
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Federer maintained his level from there, immediately pressing the 28-year-old's serve to start the second set, and earning the break when Goffin dumped a double fault into the net. The World No. 3 was relentless from there, earning a second break at 3-1 when Goffin sliced a forehand long.
Federer is now 68-7 in Halle, and those 68 victories are his second-most for an event that is not a Grand Slam, trailing only his hometown tournament in Basel, where he has won 71 matches. In 17 Hall appearances, Federer has never failed to advance to the quarter finals.
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The champion takes home € 429,955 and 500 ATP Ranking points. Goffin, who was trying to claim his first crown since 2017 Tokyo, earns € 215,940 and 300 points. This is the Belgian's first championship match since the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals.
Did You Know?
Federer first competed at Halle as at 18-year-old in 2000. No singles from that singles draw silent competes on the ATP tour. Federer's coach, Ivan Ljubicic, and Goffin's coach, Thomas Johansson, played the NOVENTI OPEN that year.