2014/12/20

Roger Federer wins Seventh Halle Title, 79th Career Crown

(June 15, 2014) Roger Federer won the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany for the seventh time on Sunday when he defeated Alejandro Falla 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3) in the final. For the 17-time major Swiss champion, it was his 14th title on grass and 79th career title for the 32-year-old.

The world No. 4 Federer has a 46-5 record in Halle since making his debut in 2000.

“I’ve left a little bit of my heart here,” Federer said of his tennis at Halle. “I’m very pleased now to go to Wimbledon.”

“To win in a tiebreak is always a bit special, the euphoria, the emotion comes out,” Federer said. “I was able to deal with Falla’s strengths in the final and also (Kei) Nishikori’s in the semifinal. They were my second and third games on grass and I’m very satisfied with the level I could reach.”.

“He’s the king of kings of tiebreaks,” said the 69th-ranked Falla. “Overall I played very well throughout the whole week and I want to keep it up.”

Federer almost pulled off a singles and doubles double, but he and countryman Marco Chiudinelli cound not capitalize on fourth match points and were defeated 1-6, 7-5, 12-10 by Andre Begemann of Germany and Julian Knowle of Austria. Federer last won both the singles and doubles titles of the same tournament back in 2005 in Halle.

“I really enjoy winning titles,” Federer said. “It is what I play for, to play and receive a standing ovation at the end. I am very pleased with my performance. I work hard and travel the tour to win these titles and not lose in the quarters or semi-finals. With all the success I have had in the past, I need to aim for titles. I think I deserved the title this week.”
“It’s always tough losing a match, especially a final,” Falla said. “I wanted to win the title so badly. But when you play Roger in a final, it is always tough. It was a close match. I tried my best and fought for every point. This tournament gave me a lot of confidence, having won some tough matches.”

The Colombian was bidding to become the first from his country to win a grass-court title.

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Notes from the Front – SAP Open 2013, Day Five

John Isner-2

Notes from the Front – SAP Open 2013, Day Five

by Kevin Ware

Day Five Quarterfinal Results

[4] T Haas (GER) d [WC] Steve Johnson (USA) 6-4, 6-2

[2] J Isner (USA) d [8] Xavier Malisse (BEL) 7-6(8), 6-2

[1] Milos Raonic (CAN) d [6] Denis Istomin (UZB) 7-6(0), 6-3

[3] Sam Querrey (USA) d Alejandro Falla (COL) 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

Match Notes

Steve Johnson bemoaned his lack of aggression in losing to Tommy Haas in the first quarterfinal of the day, feeling that he let Haas take control too often at key moments.  For his part, Haas is feeling good and grateful to be playing some of his best tennis towards the end of his career.  He’s especially happy to be able to do so in front of his 2 year-old who’s here in San Jose with dad.  “I know she probably won’t remember watching me play today, but maybe I can continue on playing and she’ll get to be around a couple of these tournaments and see me play competitively at a high level.”

John Isner didn’t play his best tennis in his quarterfinal match against Xavier Malisse, but he raised his level when needed to get by an opponent who was more than capable of a big upset. This was especially true in the first set tiebreaker after Isner dug a 0-3 hole with a mini-break on the first point.  The tide turned with a monstrous return on a Malisse serve to level at 5-all. He closed out the tiebreak with some mad scrambling on the baseline before flicking one final running forehand winner that was netted by the Belgian. First set to Isner.  Malisse’s level dropped off quickly in the second set.  Isner, with the first set in his back pocket, kept up the pressure on the slumping Malisse to close out an uneventful second set for the win.

The quarterfinal match between Milos Raonic and Denis Istomin turned out to be almost a carbon copy of their match in last year’s SAP Open final. Both men held serve easily and played to their strengths for most of the first set, with Istomin looking to be the stronger from the back court.  But once again, the tiebreaker was the deciding factor with Raonic sweeping all seven points for the first set.  After that, Istomin’s resolve slipped and Raonic’s confidence soared, and it was only a matter of time until Raonic closed it out.

Sam Querrey‘s win over Alejandro Falla was easily the best match of the day! It looked to be on track for a routine straight sets win by Querrey after a 6-3 first set.  No one told that to Falla, however, as the Colombian left scrambled with even more intensity in the second set.  In tennis, anything can happen when you make your opponent hit “one more shot”, and that was the case for Falla. Querrey’s level dropped, and a few key misses gave the set to Falla.  The tension was high for both guys in the third set, with neither giving an inch until the eighth game when Falla broke Querrey for 4-all, then held serve for a 5-4 lead.

A straight-sets victory was a distant memory with Querry playing loose shots on the deuce court to find himself at match point, 30-40. A crucial 133mph ace out wide to Falla’s backhand saved the point, and lit the fire under Sam that he needed to hold serve, break Falla for a 6-5 lead, then serve out the match.   That’s not to say that Falla didn’t have his chances, because he did.  Two netted shots for a game point at 5-all could easily have put the pressure back on Querrey’s serve to stay in the match. But it was not meant to be for Falla, and a chance for a huge upset.

Semifinal Notes/Picks

[4] T Haas (GER) vs [2] J Isner (USA)

Head-to-head: Isner leads 3-1

Quick Keys to the match: Isner needs to start aggressive and keep Haas from feeling like he has a chance.  He must serve well to blunt Haas’ return opportunities, and keep the points short by coming forward as he’s done in other matches.  For Haas, if he can get a handle on the Isner serve and make this a running match, he will have the edge for Isner.

Pick: Sticking with Isner for the win.

[1] M Raonic (CAN) vs [3] S Querrey (USA)

Head-to-head: Querrey leads 2-0

Quick Keys to the match: Raonic is going to come out firing on all cylinders with high intensity.  Conversely, drops in his intensity level have been Querrey’s main issue in both of his previous matches. For Querrey to win this match against the two-time defending champion, there can be no drops.  He has to maintain focus, serve well, and stay strong on the baseline.  If Raonic can maintain focus and intensity from first point to last, something that Querrey typically can’t do, he’ll have the edge.

Pick: Sticking with Raonic for the win.

Kevin Ware is in San Jose covering the SAP Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.

All photos by David Sweet

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Isner Upset by Falla at Wimbledon

Eleventh seed, American John Isner in another five-set at Wimbledon lost to No. 73 Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-4, 6-7 (7), 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5 in the first round of Wimbledon on Monday.

Falla fought off a match point and 31 aces from the 6-foot-9 Isner in coming back from two sets to one down and surprisingly won 27 of 34 points at the net.

“I didn’t put my opponent away.  I had my chances, and I didn’t do it,” Isner said.  “It’s all on me.  Was just not great on my part.

“I had to take some time off after the French, and I was back and forth from North Carolina and Florida for family reasons.  But, no, I mean, I did what I normally do.  I felt fine coming into here.

“It’s just now I get out there sometimes, and lately it’s happening quite a lot, and I get out there in the match and I’m just so clouded.  I just can’t seem ‑‑ I just can’t seem to figure things out.  I’m my own worst enemy out there.  It’s all mental for me, and it’s pretty poor on my part.”

Isner added, “He was better than me today, and that’s what it comes down to.  You know, I had chances, and I didn’t take them.  So on my part, that’s my bad.

 

“So he deserved to win.  I don’t deserve to win that match at all.”

Isner said that the next tournament he’ll play is the Atlanta Tennis Championships.

 

Isner won the longest match in tennis history an 11-hour, 5-minute marathon in the first round of Wimbledon in 2010.

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Fish Upset by Falla in Melbourne

MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Mardy Fish became the first major upset victim in the men’s draw. The eighth seeded American committed 58 unforced errors in his 7-6(4), 6-3,7-6(6) loss to Colombia’s Alejandro  Falla.

“Didn’t play great, ” said Fish.  You know, he played well.  Made a lot of errors.  You know, conditions are about as ideal for me as I would have liked as far as the second and third set, heat and stuff.

“Just didn’t work out.  You know, couple tiebreakers that I won last year, you know, most of those.  Played good when he needed to.
” You know, that’s it.  Third set obviously pretty important knowing that he’s struggling, I guess.  Maybe not.  Maybe that was a ploy.  I don’t know.   “Didn’t seem like he was having too much trouble during the point.  So it was a good tactic on his part.”

Falla will face next Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round.

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