The Seppi curse is no more as Roger took out the Italian 7-6(1) 6-4 to win his 8th Halle title and 86th career title overall at the Gerry Weber Stadion on Sunday.
Roger was the heavy favourite going in and he lived up to the billing, weathering the Seppi storm in the middle of both sets and coming up with the better tennis when it really mattered to record victory in 1 hour and 48 minutes.
Quick Match Recap
Seppi served first and after looking a little nervous held to 15 thanks to some cheap errors from Federer. The Swiss then levelled for 1-1 and both players began to exchange comfortable holds with Seppi just slightly the more dangerous of the two.
At 3 all deuce on the Seppi serve the heavens opened which meant the roof had to be closed and after a 12 minute delay play resumed. Seppi held for 4-3 and then had his first break point chance of the set in game 8, Roger saved it with 2 heavy forehands before holding.
Another Seppi hold followed and the Italian then had 2 more chances to break at 15-40 to the set. In true GOAT style Roger saved them both with back to back aces before levelling at 5-5. Seppi then recovered from 0-30 to guarantee himself at least a tie break before Roger held to 30, coming up with a stunning defensive point at 30-30 which set the tone for the tie break.
Into the breaker and Roger hit a sweet forehand to get the mini break on the opening point and soon moved into a 4-0 lead. Seppi had looked the better player for all of set 1 but Roger's serve + forehand clicked at just the right time and at 1-6 down the man from South Tyrol double faulted to drop the set.
With Seppi on the ropes I thought Roger could break early in the second and although he won the first point on Seppi's serve in set 2 there was no immediate breakthrough. In fact it was Seppi who had the first chance to break again in set 2 but Roger again saved it with more clutch play.
At 4-3 Roger fashioned his first break point of the match with an epic return but Seppi saved it, before saving 2 more with some crisp hitting.
Fed then held to love in about 60 seconds to put more pressure on Seppi who would have to serve to stay in the match. The Italian looked tight, making a tame error at 0-15 before Roger ripped a backhand winner to bring up two match points which he took in style, firing a crisp backhand followed by an inside in forehand that put Seppi way behind the baseline before finishing with an overhead winner to seal his 8th Halle title.
|R. Federer||A. Seppi|
|1st Serve %||73%||62%|
|1st Serve Points Won||43/53 (81%)||34/52 (65%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||10/20 (50%)||18/32 (56%)|
|Break Points Saved||4/4 (100%)||4/5 (80%)|
|Service Games Played||11||11|
|1st Return Points Won||18/52 (35%)||10/53 (19%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||14/32 (44%)||10/20 (50%)|
|Break Points Won||1/5 (20%)||0/4 (0%)|
|Return Games Played||11||11|
|Net Points Won||19/28||7/11|
|Total Service Points Won||53/73 (73%)||52/84 (62%)|
|Total Return Points Won||32/84 (38%)||20/73 (27%)|
|Total Points Won||85/157 (54%)||72/157 (46%)|
Shot of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
Another peRFect week in Halle for Roger Federer and after coming within 2 points of losing against Kohlschreiber he took full advantage to take down his 8th title without dropping another set throughout the whole tournament.
In today's match it was tough going for the most part with Seppi proving a very tricky opponent. Seppi has no huge weapons but thanks to his crisp flat hitting and very solid movement he was tricky for Roger to find a way through. In fact it was only really Roger's ability to play the bigger points better and his break point clutchness that proved the difference out there. Seppi had plenty chances but Roger came up with the goods time and time again to foil him and then pounced at 4-5 in set 2 after Seppi got slightly tight serving to stay in it.
In terms of stats Roger's numbers are all pretty impressive with a high first serve %, winners outnumbering errors and a comfortable gap in the points won column. Going into the match Roger said in press he thought the 2nd serve would be an area he could target but it was actually the reverse as Seppi won over 75% of points behind his second serve up until the first set tie break and Roger was down below 50%. Over the course of the match Seppi's dropped to 56% overall but still bettered Roger's at 50%. Probably the worst stat for Fed especially on a grass court.
The main takeaways for the week I think are Fed's serve has been incredible, he's moved exceptionally well, played clutch basically every time he needed to and has got 5 important matches under his belt ahead of Wimbledon. The only 2 things you can be critical over the week are 2nd serve points won and the forehand has been a little flaky. Although it came good in the tie break today which was very timely so hard to really criticise the best shot in the game of the last 12 years.
Next stop is Wimbledon where Roger will be the Number 2 seed and will be playing his opening match on Tuesday 30th of June. BEL18VE 🙂