Halle Westfalen - Swiss great Roger Federer thrashed
Alexander Zverev to win his ninth Halle title on Sunday and admitted he's
feeling fresh ahead of his assault on an eighth Wimbledon crown next month.
The top seed lost his first match of the grass-court season
last week in Stuttgart to Tommy Haas, but was in imperious form all week at
Halle, culminating in Sunday's 6-1, 6-3 final victory over home favourite
Federer will head into Wimbledon, which starts on July 3, as
favourite to win an outright record eighth title and surpass the mark of seven
he currently shares with Pete Sampras.
"I was doubting myself a little bit, I must admit,
because losing in the opening round for the first time in 15 years on grass was
always going to shake me a little bit and it did," admitted Federer.
"So I'm happy to react right away and let that be forgotten
and actually move on and remind myself I actually can play well on grass.
"It's a boost for me personally, with my confidence,
knowing that my body is in good shape. Mentally, I'm fresh again and I've
gotten used to match play."
Rome Masters champion Zverev had won all three of his
previous finals this season, but was blown away by a vintage performance from
18-time major champion Federer in only 53 minutes on Sunday.
"I played great, I felt good from the start," said
"It was by far my best match of the week. After my long
break, I'm feeling excellent and it's a pleasure to be back and I'm fit for
The 35-year-old, who skipped the entire clay-court season,
has still only lost two matches this year en route to four titles, including
the Australian Open in January.
"My goal was to keep myself 100 percent for the grass
season," he added.
"I now hope that I'll stay healthy in this second part
of the season and we'll see what happens."
"I'm like on 'Cloud Nine' right now after the ninth win
here in Halle. It's a wonderful feeling to win here again because I'm not sure
if I'll ever get a chance to win this again so it's important to enjoy
Federer raced out of the blocks and broke serve twice to
reel off the first four games of the match.
The home crowd tried their best to get behind the world
number 12 Zverev, and even though he got on the board in game five, Federer
broke again to wrap up the opening set in just 23 minutes.
Zverev, 20, battled hard to stay with his illustrious
opponent at the start of the second set, but failed to make any inroads into
the Federer serve.
The 18-time major champion was in irresistible form and he
brought up two break points after a scintillating rally.
A trademark forehand passing shot and a comfortable service
game moved Federer to within a game of victory.
And he confidently served it out to wrap up the 92nd ATP
Tour title of his career, which moves him to within two of second-placed Ivan
Lendl on the all-time list.