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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Roger Federer wins 77th title to equal Johny Mac

Roger Federer wins 77th title
World No. 3 Roger Federer won his first ATP World Tour title of the season, and the 77th of his career, on Sunday as he came from a set down to beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle. His 77 titles see him draw level with John McEnroe in third position in the career titles list.

"I'm very happy. It was a great week for me and my family," said Federer. "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."

The Swiss lifted the trophy in Halle for the sixth time, having previously triumphed in 2003-06 and 2008 (d. Kohlschreiber). He also finished runner-up in 2010 (l. to Hewitt) and 2012 (l. to Haas) and has a 43-5 event record.

The 31-year-old Federer clinched his 13th tour-level grass-court title, having also won The Championships at Wimbledon seven times. He will look to complete the Halle-Wimbledon double for the fifth time (2003-06) by retaining the Wimbledon crown he won last year with victory over Andy Murray.

"It's totally different [than 2003]," said Federer. "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."

Federer improved to a 15-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Youzhny, dropping a set for only the fourth time against the Russian, whom he beat at both Halle and Wimbledon last year.

The Swiss failed to convert five break points in the first set and paid the prices for 13 unforced errors as Youzhny clinched the opener in 57 minutes. A tidier second set from Federer saw the Basel native cut his unforced error count to just four, and he secured the first service break of the match in the eighth game to level the match. The Swiss then broke Youzhny in the seventh game of the decider to claim victory in just over two hours.

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