Roger Federer continues breaking his own records by winning his tenth Halle Open title while Andy Murray boasted a triumphant return to the courts. Juan Martin del Potro will be out for knee surgery while Nick Kyrgios continues stirring up controversy.
Shortly after defeating David Goffin to claim a record 10th NOVENTI OPEN title on Sunday, Federer took to social media saying that it’s, “Good to be 10 again”. Coincidentally Federer’s twin daughters, Charlene and Myla, turn 10 in exactly a month.
“I turned 10 before them, they are turning 10 in July,” Federer told media in Halle, cracking a laugh. “I feel young again. Anyway, on the flight and then at home later tomorrow morning, when I wake up, I’ll feel old again. But for now I feel young.”
Federer is 37, but he isn’t playing like it. This is the first time the Swiss star has claimed 10 titles at one tournament, and it’s his third triumph of the year, giving him a total of 102 tour-level trophies.
“Obviously it feels really good. When it was all over… it was the first time I really thought of how it felt winning because I didn’t think I was visualising, imagining how it would feel to win my 10th here,” Federer said. “All of a sudden I was at match point. I wasn’t even really nervous because I felt I had been playing good, I’ve been so balanced that I was just at a good place. Then, when it was all over, I was just happy.”
It wasn’t an easy run for Federer, who needed three sets to beat former World No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round and seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarter-finals. So he was fully focussed on each match in front of him, and he is only first processing the history he made at this ATP 500 tournament.
“It’s just a really good feeling to have and obviously now with a bit more reflection I think it’s a special moment in my career to win a title for the 10th time,” Federer said. “Especially one where I’ve been coming here for so long and have had so much success, the most success of any tournament actually that I’ve played. It feels great. So I’m very, very happy clearly.”
It has been a tremendous year for Federer, who is the first player to claim three tour-level titles in 2019. He also owns a 32-4 record, and his 88.9 winning percentage is the best of anyone on the ATP Tour.
That puts Federer in a strong position heading into Wimbledon, where he owns a record eight titles. The Swiss is not thinking that far ahead yet, though.
“First I want to enjoy this one. I want to take a couple of days off. I’ll speak to the team to hear if they want to have one day, two days or three days off, or another day off during the week,” Federer said. “I’m aware that usually when it went well for me here in Halle I’ve also had very successful Wimbledons. I’m not sure if every time but this definitely sets it up nicely and next to winning I also feel good physically.
“So that’s also a big week and it’s always important at my age I think to prove myself that I can last five matches in six days and tough ones along the way and actually feel the best on Sunday. So from that standpoint I think it’s very positive.”
Nick Kyrgios Rigged
Nick Kyrgios swore at officials and accused them of “rigging” his first-round match at the Queen’s Club grass-court tournament in his latest outburst.
The outspoken Australian, who went on to win the match, launched an expletive-ridden rant at umpire Fergus Murphy after missing a set point against Roberto Carballes Baena, claiming his Spanish opponent had double-faulted.
After Murphy issued a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct, Kyrgios continued his tirade, saying “it’s a joke, man. It’s a serious joke” and adding: “Like, your hat looks ridiculous, also. It’s not even sunny.”
After another point, Kyrgios said: “The ball was this far out on the second serve. I’m going. I’m not going to give 100% when I’ve got linesmen rigging the game, I don’t want to play.
“You wonder why I don’t try half the time. Literally the set had finished, he double-faulted. Why am I playing at 5-5? Absolute joke.”
Later in the match, Kyrgios then berated himself for hitting a poor lob to gift Carballes Baena a point and made reference to a computer game.
“So lazy, do something, so lazy you are,” he said to himself. “You were playing FIFA until 3 a.m., what do you expect?”
In the final game, Kyrgios — at 40-0 down — began returning from just outside the service line.
He still won 7-6 (4), 6-3.
But he lost his second-round match a few hours later, 6-7(4), 7-6 (3), 7-5 to Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Andy Murray Back Winning Queens Title
One of the greatest comebacks in British sport could become even more epic, with Andy Murray now open to a potential singles return at the US Open.
Five months ago, the Brit, 32, broke down in tears at the Australian Open when he revealed the full extent of the daily hip pain he was suffering.
Sporting obituaries were duly written and tributes poured in
for one of the world’s leading sportsmen.
Everybody, including Murray, feared that was it.
It was thought he was finished at the elite end of a sport he had been involved in since being a young boy growing up in Scotland.
But, thanks to career-saving hip-resurfacing surgery in January, Murray will not have to hang up the racket so soon after all, as he pocketed a first title since 2017.
And, as he showed in this epic doubles victory at the Fever-Tree Championships, he has lost none of the fire, competitiveness or sheer bloody-mindedness that once propelled him to world No1.
A fairytale week, aided by the marathon effort of Spanish partner Feliciano Lopez, ended with Murray lifting the Queen’s trophy above his heads thanks to a pulsating 7-6 5-7 10-5 victory over Brit Joe Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram.
Admittedly, he will have to get his serving back to its top level and work on his positioning for doubles action — but in reality there have been few negatives to discuss all week.
Murray, a five-time singles winner here, said: “This is very different for me and it’s more special than a lot of the singles tournaments I’ve won for a lot of different reasons.
“I’ve just won the doubles with Feli with a metal hip. It’s mental! It’s a cool thing given where I was only two months ago. I wasn’t thinking about this.
“I was just really happy just to be pain-free and enjoying life, doing normal things. So it’s really special.”
Of course, everybody wants to know when he will back for singles combat — and once more take on the big beasts of Nadal, Djokovic and Federer.
And Murray quickly raised the tantalizing prospect of a possible return this autumn, saying: “If I keep progressing, I’d like to try to play singles.
“I have a couple of options. One, after Wimbledon, is continue with doubles but start training and practicing singles through the US Open swing — and then try and maybe play singles after that.
“Or I take a longer break post-Wimbledon of maybe, let’s say, a month or six weeks to get myself ready for singles and then try and play close to US Open time.
That familiar fist pump. That indomitable spirit. It was as if Andy Murray had never been away.
The three-time Grand Slam champion enjoyed a winning return to competitive tennis Thursday after five months away from the sport, combining with Feliciano Lopez to beat top-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the doubles at the Queen’s Club.
Murray was taking the first steps of his tentative comeback from what he hopes was career-saving hip surgery 143 days ago. It was even longer ago that he was breaking down in tears at the Australian Open in January, saying he was planning to retire after Wimbledon because of the severe pain he felt on a daily basis.
Yet Murray moved well, served well and, crucially, stayed pain-free throughout the 7-6 (5), 6-3 win in front of an excitable crowd on Center Court at the grass-court event.
“It was brilliant, I enjoyed it a lot,” the former top-ranked Murray said. “I was a bit slow at the beginning but got better as the match went along. I’m really fortunate to be playing tennis again.
“I felt quite relaxed in the build-up, but we said as we were walking onto the court that we were starting to feel a bit nervous. But you need those butterflies.”
Victory was wrapped up in under 75 minutes, Murray and Lopez clicking like a veteran doubles partnership even though they had never played together, and had barely trained together.
The fact that Lopez had been compelled to issue a fierce denial of links to allegations of match-fixing in Spain a day earlier was not ideal preparation, either.
At the end of a first set that went with serve, a ferocious forehand from Murray clipped the net tape on its way past Cabal and clinched the tiebreaker. That fist pump was on display from Murray following a succession of winners in the second set.
Cabal and Farah are a slick combination but couldn’t handle what came at them, with Murray volleying like a doubles specialist.
Lopez stood back after victory was secured to allow Murray to take the applause of the crowd.
Earlier in the singles, defending champion Marin Cilic, former winner Grigor Dimitrov and 2018 Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson all lost.
Cilic and Anderson were knocked out in the second round, while Dimitrov didn’t make it past the first round having waited four days to play his opening match.
Diego Schwartzman of Argentina beat the fifth-seeded Cilic 6-4, 6-4 and Anderson, the second seed, was defeated 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 by Gilles Simon.
Dimitrov followed Anderson on Court 1 and fell 6-4, 6-4 to Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas played two matches in one day as the rain-hit event tried to catch up, and he won both against Kyle Edmund and then Jeremy Chardy. He came from behind to beat Chardy 4-6, 7-6 (0), 7-6 (4).
Outspoken Australian player Nick Kyrgios swore at officials and accused them of “rigging” his first-round match against Roberto Carballes Baena, which he won 7-6 (4), 6-3.
Kyrgios lost his second-round match a few hours later, though, 6-7(4), 7-6 (3), 7-5 to Auger-Aliassime.
Juan Martin del Potro Out For Surgery
Juan Martin del Potro’s team says the Argentine player will undergo surgery for a fractured kneecap.
The injury forced the 12th-ranked Del Potro to withdraw from the Queen’s Club grass-court event on Wednesday.
Del Potro beat Denis Shapovalov 7-5, 6-4 in the first round, but finished the match with pain and swelling in his right knee after slipping near the net in the second set.
Team Delpo said in a statement Thursday that tests performed in London confirmed the fracture and that Del Potro will have the surgery in the coming days.
Del Potro had also fractured his right kneecap last year when he played against Borna Coric at the Shanghai Masters.