(June 16, 2013) Roger Federer is now No. 3 on the all-time list of ATP tour ournament titles by virtue of his sixth title win at Halle. He is now equal to John McEnroe with 77 ATP Tour titles. Federer was pushed to defeat Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4.
For Federer it’s his first title of 2013, his first tournament victory since capturing Cincinnati in August 2012.
“I’ve won a lot but not so much in the last 10 months, although I feel I’d been playing well,” Federer said. “But the others were playing better.”
Federer now sits behind, Jimmy Connors with 109 titles and Ivan Lendl 94.
“I’m very happy,” Federer said. “It was a great week for me and my family. I thought I played well from the start and I really had to fight for it, in the semis against Tommy Haas and in the finals against Mikhail Youzhny. I think I did well today and they are exactly the kind of wins I need at this part of the season. I’ve been preparing well for this part of the season and I’m happy it’s paying off. It’s obviously important for my confidence looking forward to Wimbledon now.
“It’s totally different [than 2003]. Ten years ago I went into Wimbledon with so much pressure, even though I had lost in the first round the year before. In terms of needing to prove my point that I was a legitimate Grand Slam contender, I had incredible pressure. Now, ten years later, I know Wimbledon, I know Halle, I know my way around and what I need to do to perform well. I’m going in with pressure because I’m defending my title. There’s always pressure because it’s a privilege to play at Wimbledon and I want to do so, so well. I feel good right now and I hope I can show it on the tennis court.”
“The first set was very close. It could have gone either way,” Federer said. I had to fight very hard to stay in the second. My serve saved me today. At the end I was just a bit steadier.”
“It was a good match for me,” Youzhny said. I played good, but Roger was better today. It was a good tournament for me. I’m happy because I played a lot of matches at the same high level from the first point until the last point.”
Next stop for Federer is London to try an defend his title at Wimbledon.