ATP 250HalleRoger Federer

Federer makes the final in Halle

Boom! Is there a better site in the history of tennis than Roger Federer gracefully moving around a grass court? I don't think so and the matches against Raonic and Youzhny are evidence why. Roger has always been the best to watch no matter what the surface but on grass it's just the peRFect combination.

I didn't get chance to write a post last night after the Raonic match so I'll be combining his wins against the Canadian and against Youhzny to make his 105th final into this post.

Roger defeats Raonic in 3 tough sets 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (3)

As I predicted this one turned into a real serving contest and for large parts of the match Raonic looked untouchable on serve. The first set went to a totally expected tie breaker and one mini break was enough for Raonic to win the set. There's really not much else Roger could have done, he served well himself and it took a huge forehand from Raonic to make the difference.

After Raonic won the first set I made him slight favourite, really for 2 reasons – his serve is effective on grass and it's only best of 3 sets meaning a match can slip away very quickly. If this was 5 I'd be backing Roger all the way but it wasn't.

After looking imperious on serve for the whole of the first, Raonic's first serve percentage dipped ever so slightly at the start of the second and Roger was able to break on his 4th attempt. Even though it was only 1-0, a break of serve in this match was so precious that it was virtually a set point. Like the Canadian, Roger had been serving very well too and he had little trouble taking the match into a decider.

The final set was still all about the serve, Roger slipped to 0-30 on a couple of service games but managed to hold and the match went into what I can only describe as my favourite tie break of the year to date. (Ok so the one against Del Potro in Dubai was pretty good too)

Rather than try and describe some of the shots Roger came up with just watch it below, the slice return and forehand pass are too good:

It was the third time in three or four months that we played each other. We know each other a bit better now,” said Federer. “But it still makes it as difficult to break each other’s serve. Somehow I had the feeling that it was going to be 7-6 in the third. I just hoped it was going to be in my favour. Of course, I’m satisfied that I came through. It was difficult.

This match was probably won with Rogers experience and patience, he was on the back foot for most of the match and struggling to make any impression on the Raonic serve but to his credit he served well himself and hung in there and took his chances. Raonic served 25 aces but still came out on the losing side so it's just testament to Rogers ability to stay in matches and not get too flustered by things outside his control.

Grasserer defeats gives Youzhny a tennis lesson

I don't think I've ever seen Roger play a match so early in a day before (in Europe) but this was definitely worth waking up on a Saturday morning for. It was pretty much JesusFed all the way through, he served awesome, the forehand was on form and his backhand slice caused Youzhny all sorts of problems.

Schooling Youzhny with the forehand
Schooling Youzhny with the forehand

Roger broke twice in the first set to take it down in just 21 minutes, there really was no stopping him, he had all the answers and even though Youzhny adapts well to grass and has a great single handed backhand he just couldn't handle the full repertoire of shots Roger was able to bring to the fore.

The second set went the same way and although Roger lost 1 of the breaks when serving for the match he served it out second time of asking with ease.

It was nice to come out and play some decent tennis after yesterday's shoot-out drill,” said Federer, referring to his quarter-final win against Milos Raonic in a third-set tie-break. Mikhail played a great tournament, and he deserves respect for the way he fought back in the second set.

Unfortunately for Youzhny he's just one of those guys that is likely never ever going to beat Roger, he doesn't have a big big weapon and Roger is just a class above in every department. Today was a quality performance from Fed and after Nadal lost to Kohlschreiber he's a clear favourite for the title.

Final Predictions

Roger will now meet one of his good friends in the final – Tommy Haas. I'm sure this is a dream final for the tournament organisers, a 5 time champion loved by the Halle crowd against one of their own who is clearly the most liked by the fans amongst their current crop.

Even watching this on TV will be good I think and far better than a Fedal final because Haas plays tennis, he has a great backhand, a good grass game and will play attacking so it's bound to be quality to watch. If you're a neutral in this match then it's a dream scenario because it's going to be pure tennis and great ball striking.

Roger is clearly the favourite, he leads H2H 10-2 and hasn't lost to Haas since the 2002 Australian Open. Haas is capable of an upset for sure, he will have the crowd behind him and it's likely going to be one of the last times we see Roger and Tommy facing off in a final together so that might put the wind in his sails. I think Roger will prevail though, straight sets – 7-5 6-4. But either way I'm looking forward to it! Allez les suisse!


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. no doubt roger will win in straight sets in the final… fed is the clear favourite for wimbledon…

    i dont think rafa wil reach semis at wimbldon

    1. Not sure we can make Federer is the clear favourite for Wimbledon man… we can’t base that alone on a Masters 250. He’s one of the favourites but Djoker + Nadal have performed better in the slams so you have to put them in front of him. It’s better if he’s under the radar anyway.

    1. Not sure man, I think it’s tough to ever predict a Nadal loss, he’s the hardest to beat on tour. I think he will be there for sure. Even though he lost in Halle he’s still feeling confident from the French so hard to rule him outta the equation. I’d love for him to lose though because I don’t like his game or him for that matter so I hope you’re right!

  2. I would love for Roger to win Wimbledon. I enjoy the way he plays tennis. The old tennis was the real tennis. This method that these guys play on clay is some other sport. Grass and hard courts are real tennis. Nadal and his kind of players are not human and not enjoyable to watch. Yes, I think tomorrow’s game between Roger and Tommy will be fun to watch just want Roger to win. I will pull for Tommy against someone else in the future. I do wish Tommy the best in the next games.

    1. Thanks for the comment Pat.

      Yeah me too, another Wimbledon would be immense. It’s a shame it’s not a quick grass court anymore, he’d stand a much better chance then.

      I think Fed should beat Haas. Hopefully it’s interesting.

    1. Nasal losing is not of any importance here. Not when the clay probably is not even off his shoes yet so we shouldn’t read too much into it. He got his million bucks appearance fee, got a feel of the grass. Not to mention, the grass at Wimby is different and has higher bounce.

      Either way, fed should win. Don’t care what happens will be happy even if Haas wins actually coz he’s already at the twilight of how career would be nice to have a home win. Wouldn’t affect fed in the least and I hope fed gets adequate rest before heading to Wimbledon.

      However well fed does here, U know its different in best of 5 at slams. Nadal is feeling confident for sure and he has made 5 finals and plays very well at Wimbledon so I think he will make the final weekend. Novak too will be lookig for revenge. Simply can’t say fed is favourite today. Not even sure who he would rather face in semis, Novak or rafa. And he will need to serve lights out well to beat those guys on the slower grass at Wimby. Would be great if he makes the final comfortably. Rest we can see Then. Considering the past results I am kind of half glass full bur prove me wrong fed

      1. Hey Ali,

        Yeah I agree, the loss at Halle for Nadal doesn’t really effect Wimbledon that much. It might do slightly but like you say he’s still confident after Paris.

        Roger is 3rd favourite for Wimbledon behind Djoker and Dull purely because we can only base things on past slam performances.

        Anyway, only time will tell and I’m looking forward to Wimbledon regardless.

  3. I don’t really see any of the top 3 being upset in the earlier rounds. Last year’s quarter Fed vs. Tsonga shocked me, to say the least, and by watching Roger’s game/form/mentality this year, he should be in pretty good shape for Wimby. The only thing is really, if he does match up with Novak/Rafa, his mentality is the key to both his game and his form. But we all know that, and hopefully if he meets with them again, we see “JesusFed” back in action on his favorite surface for a 7th Wimby title!

  4. Congrats’ to Roger! Since the draw came up I knew that Roger has this title in his hands even when Nadal is standing next to him on the paper. Nadal always loses in QF or earlier in these first tournaments on grass (Halle and Queens) because he is not able to feel comfortable just a few days after playing on the slowest surface. Haas is a great player but his time has passed and this will just be a great match for the German crowd! About Wimbledon, the first test for Roger will be QF, where he can meet Tsonga (again), Delpo or even Berdich. All of them have a huge serve and powerful shots. If Roger goes through them he could have a big chance to defeat Novak on Roger’s favorite surface and prove the World that he can do again what he did last year on French (when Novak was “unstoppable”). In the final, against Nadal, it will be an epic match, as always. So we can’t make him BIG FAVOR to be the king of All England Club! 😀

    1. Hey Marijan,

      Nadal has won Queens before so don’t write him off on grass completely 😉 he’s dangerous.

      Looking forward to the final today and I think you’re right, Roger should take the title. Number 75 allez!

  5. stunning…haas beat fed.. congrats to Tommy! Roger, please take a good rest and be ready for
    Wimbledon n olympics

  6. I am totally confused by Roger’s tennis at the moment. He played great for the first three matches (serving well, low UE, solid FH and BH), then he plays this kind of a match in the final? 38% of 2nd serves won? This was mentally one of the ugliest matches Roger has played in the last few months.

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