Roger Federer from Switzerland poses with the trophy after he won his final match against David Goffin from Belgium at the ATP tennis tournament in Halle, western Germany, June 23 2019. Picture: CARMEN JASPERSEN / AFP
Roger Federer from Switzerland poses with the trophy after he won his final match against David Goffin from Belgium at the ATP tennis tournament in Halle, western Germany, June 23 2019. Picture: CARMEN JASPERSEN / AFP

Halle Westfalen — 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.

Federer, 37, beat Goffin 7-6 (7/2) 6-1 to secure his 102nd career singles title and remain unbeaten on grass so far this season.

“It’s unbelievable. I never thought when I first played here that I would win 10 titles,” said Federer. “I’ve never won a tournament 10 times before, so I will remember forever that I did so here in Halle.”

The Swiss star is chasing a ninth Wimbledon crown in London in July as he looks to extend and defend his record of 20 career Majors. Long-term rival Rafael Nadal moved to within just two titles of Federer’s record with his 12th French Open triumph recently, while world No1 Novak Djokovic is five short with 15 career Majors.

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 semifinals before dispatching Goffin on Sunday.

Federer held off three break points early in the first set before prevailing in the tiebreaker. An unsettled looking Goffin then gifted 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.

“I thought David was actually better than me in the first 10 games,” said Federer.

Goffin added: “I thought I started really well, there was great intensity in the first set. I had opportunities, but you have to take them against Roger. This guy is pretty good.”

First double figures

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.

* Ashleigh Barty will become the first Australian in 43 years to climb to the top of the WTA singles ranking after she won the Birmingham Classic grass court title on Sunday. The 23-year-old beat Germany’s Julia Goerges 6-3 7-5 in the final, meaning when the new WTA rankings are released on Monday she will knock Japan’s Naomi Osaka off the summit.

French Open champion Barty gave up tennis in late 2014 and played Big Bash cricket for Brisbane Heat before returning to the sport in 2016.

The last Australian woman to reach the No1 ranking was Evonne Goolagong in 1976 although it only came to light 31 years later after the discovery of an error in the records.
AFP, Reuters