Roger Federer wins first tournament this season with record sixth Halle title

(CNN) -- Roger Federer is back where he feels most comfortable -- on grass, and winning trophies.

The 31-year-old ended a 10-month wait for a title on Sunday, clinching a record sixth success at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle for the 77th victory of his career.

Last year he lost in the final in Germany before going on to equal Pete Sampras' record seven Wimbledon titles and reclaim the No. 1 ranking -- this season he is battling to regain that form.

"I haven't won a title in 10 months now, during which I really hadn't played that bad. I did it again today in an extremely tight match," he said after coming from behind to beat Russia's Mikhail 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 in his second successive three-set match.

"It was a super week here. We feel really welcome as a family and that's why we like to come back."

Federer first won the tournament 10 years ago, when he claimed his first Wimbledon title, and has done the double in both on four occasions.

On Friday Federer avenged last year's final defeat by beating fellow veteran Tommy Haas, and again had to come from a set down against the 30-year-old Youzhny -- playing the first grass-court final of his career.

"During that stage, Youzhny was simply the better player," world No. 3 Federer said. "I just served better in sets two and three, maybe that made the difference."

Federer bounced back from his quarterfinal exit at the French Open last month, having struggled this year with a back problem.

Second-ranked Andy Murray missed Roland Garros due to a hip problem, but the British star boosted his hopes of a first Wimbledon title after winning London's Queen's Club tournament for the third time on Sunday.

Murray was beaten by Federer in last year's Wimbledon final before claiming Olympic gold on the same grass courts and then winning his first grand slam at the U.S. Open.

He lost to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in January's Australian Open final, a reversal of their titanic clash in New York, and has had a patchy season since.

However, Sunday's 5-7 7-5 6-3 win over Croatia's defending champion Marin Cilic in a rain-delayed final earned his third title of 2013 after victories at Brisbane in January and Miami in March.

Murray, the winner at Queen's Club in 2009 and 2011, overcame an injury scare after collapsing in apparent agony when he slipped and twisted his ankle.

On the women's tour, veteran Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova ended the dream run of Croatian 16-year-old Donna Vekic to win her sixth WTA title at Edgbaston, England.

The 30-year-old, a former world No. 5 but now outside the top 60, won 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 for her first success since triumphing in Thailand 16 months ago.

Vekic, ranked 89th, was seeking to become the youngest WTA victor since 2006 when 15-year-old Tamira Paszek won in Slovenia.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


Comments