Tennis: Roger Federer loses No. 1 ranking after shock Halle Open final defeat by Borna Coric

Borna Coric (right) posing with his trophy alongside runner-up Roger Federer after winning the Halle Open on June 24, 2018.
Borna Coric (right) posing with his trophy alongside runner-up Roger Federer after winning the Halle Open on June 24, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

HALLE (REUTERS) - Borna Coric ended Roger Federer's 20-match winning streak on grass, beating him 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 6-2 in the Halle Open final on Sunday (June 24) while also bringing to a halt the Swiss maestro's reign as world No. 1.

Federer was denied a 10th title in the German grass-court tournament as Croatian Coric handed the 36-year-old his first setback on an otherwise serene road towards defending his Wimbledon title. The defeat meant that Rafa Nadal will return to the top of the world rankings on Monday. Coric, playing in his first grass-court final, showed great mental toughness and determination to fend off two set points before clinching the opening set after 57 minutes.

Federer responded by applying further pressure on Coric's serve in the second set before converting a break point in the eighth game to force a decider.

The 21-year-old then broke his opponent in the sixth game of the final set when Federer sliced a backhand long, before Coric claimed only his second ATP title.