Tennis: Federer takes Halle title for seventh time

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer celebrates winning his final match against Alejandro Falla from Columbia at the ATP Gerry Weber Open tennis tournament in Halle, western Germany on June 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Swiss tennis player Roger Federer celebrates winning his final match against Alejandro Falla from Columbia at the ATP Gerry Weber Open tennis tournament in Halle, western Germany on June 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

HALLE WESTFALEN, Allemagne (AFP) - Switzerland’s Roger Federer won the Halle grasscourt tournament for the seventh time on Sunday with a 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/3) victory over Colombia’s Alejandro Falla.

Federer, 32, the defending champion and world number four, was too powerful for the world number 69 as he claimed his second success of the season after Dubai in February.

It was Federer’s 79th career title – and 14th on grass – and provided the Swiss with a timely boost ahead of his bid for a record eighth Wimbledon crown in a weeks’ time.

“It is great to have won seven times here,” said Federer. “It is very special and I hope to come back here next year.”

“I really enjoy winning titles. It is what I play for, to play and receive a standing ovation at the end.

“I am very pleased with my performance. I work hard and travel the tour to win these titles and not lose in the quarters or semi-finals.

“With all the success I have had in the past, I need to aim for titles. I think I deserved the title this week.” continued the 17-time Grand Slam winner.

There was a break of serve in each set before Federer took control in the tie-breaks to seal victory in 88 minutes.

Falla, 30, failed in his bid for a first ATP title, a year after also losing his first final in Bogota.

Federer meanwhile hopes his record of following Halle with success at Wimbledon continues; “In the past, when I have played well at Halle I have usually played well at Wimbledon.

“They have been two of my most successful tournaments, so I hope that this title will bring me luck again. Last year it didn’t work out, but it did many times before. So I hope it will be back to the good old days.”

Im delighted with this victory and I hope I can continue to play well in the coming weeks,” said Federer, who had slumped to a fourth round exit against Latvian Ernests Gulbis in the French Open.

Later Sunday, Federer will play the doubles with his friend Marco Chiudinelli, which could see him miss the start of Switzerland’s World Cup opener against Ecuador in Brazil.

“I love football but I came here for tennis,” said Federer, a crowd favourite since his first Halle title in 2003 after defending his only title of 2013.