Roger Federer fired an ominous warning to his rivals for Wimbledon glory by thrashing Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-3 to claim a record ninth title at the Gerry Weber Open.
Prior to Sunday’s final, Halle already represented the happiest of hunting grounds for the 18-time grand slam champion; Federer has won more tournaments in the German city than any other.
The Swiss master stormed to his latest victory – a fourth in as many finals this year – in just 53 minutes and appears in prime form with little more than a week to go until he begins his pursuit of an eighth Wimbledon crown.
Federer opted to miss the clay-court season and lost his comeback match in Stuttgart to Tommy Haas, but ends his week in Halle having not dropped a set. The 35-year-old now boasts an astonishing 92 ATP World Tour titles.
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Speaking at the post-match presentation, Federer said: “It’s been a difficult year – we had a lot of practice, a lot of training, a lot of rehab to do, so it’s nice to be back on the match courts and it feels great.
“I don’t know if I’m ever going to win this tournament again so I’m going to enjoy this one as much as I possibly can.”
After breaking to love in the first game of the match, Federer soon found himself 4-0 up and it was not long before the first set was brought to a swift conclusion.
Rising star Zverev – who had also won three finals out of three in 2017 coming into this encounter – kept pace with his illustrious rival at the start of set two, raising hopes of an increasingly competitive contest.
However, Federer broke for a 4-2 lead – drawing Zverev to the net with a backhand slice before finding his target with a forehand pass – and there was to be no way back for the young German.