Tennis: Roger Federer crushes David Goffin for 10th Halle title to lay down marker for Wimbledon

Roger Federer hitting a return shot to David Goffin during their Halle tennis tournament match on June 23, 2019.
Roger Federer hitting a return shot to David Goffin during their Halle tennis tournament match on June 23, 2019.PHOTO: DPA

HALLE WESTFALEN, GERMANY (AFP) - Roger Federer will head to Wimbledon in high spirits after waltzing past Belgium's David Goffin in straight sets to win a record-extending 10th title at the ATP event in Halle on Sunday (June 23).

The Swiss great, who hopes to challenge for a ninth Wimbledon crown and 21st career Grand Slam next month, beat Goffin 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 to secure his 102nd career singles title and remain unbeaten on grass this season.

"It's unbelievable. I never thought when I first played here that I would win 10 titles," the 37-year-old said .

Long-term rival Rafael Nadal moved to within just two titles of Federer's record with his 12th French Open triumph earlier this month, while world No. 1 Novak Djokovic is just five short with 15 career Slams.

Federer endured a rough ride in the early rounds in Halle, battling to hard-fought, three-set victories over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Roberto Bautista Agut.

Things got easier in the latter stages as he thrashed Andy Murray's new doubles partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the semi-finals before dispatching Goffin.

Federer held off three break points early in the first set before prevailing in the tiebreaker.

An unsettled looking Goffin then handed Federer the opening game of the second set with a double fault on break point.

From there, the Swiss never looked back, breaking Goffin twice more on his way to a 10th Halle title.

It is the first time Federer has reached double figures at any individual tournament. He has triumphed eight times at both Wimbledon and the Dubai Open, and has won his home tournament in Basel on nine occasions.