Due to a walk-over, Roger Federer only played 3 matches to win his 7th Halle title. Roger did play an exhibition on the day of his walk-over and played doubles at Halle finishing as a runner-up. Federer should feel like his game is adjusting if not adjusted to grass. He of course has a lot of career experience on grass as well. I would imagine next week will consist of team Federer getting set up in the UK and practicing with coach Edberg (not exactly Nostradamus on my part).
Roger’s return of serve may be the biggest area of concern heading into Wimbledon. If he can apply pressure when returning, Roger will have to be viewed as one of the top 5 contenders at SW19. Roger’s grass court resume includes 7 Wimbledon titles, 7 Halle titles, an Olympic silver medal, 1 Wimbledon runner-up finish, 3 Wimbledon quarterfinal finishes and 2 Halle runner-up finishes. Winning his 79th singles title is also something to be celebrated. Runner-up Alejandro Falla must wonder why he only plays Federer on grass and/or in Grand Slam events.
Grigor Dimitrov’s win at The Queen’s Club marked his 3rd title of 2014 and 4th title of his career (and of the past 52 weeks!). Dimitrov won a drama filled 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 match with Feliciano Lopez that included Dimitrov saving a match point when serving at 5-6 in the second set. Dimitrov also rallied in the 3rd set. I feel badly for Lopez who obviously had chances to take this title. Still, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is a skill Dimitrov needs to acquire as he closes in on the top 10. Dimitrov needs to take an indoor title in 2014 as he already has grass, clay and outdoor hard court titles.
Halle and Queen’s Club in the New Schedule?
Open Era winners at Queen’s Club include winners of Grand Slam titles such as Rod Laver, Stan Smith, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg, Michael Stich, Pete Sampras, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. Roger Federer has won Halle 7 times. Grand Slam winners Michael Stich, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Lleyton Hewitt all took the Halle title at least once as well. Other notable Halle winners include Henri Leconte, Tomas Berdych and Tommy Haas.
In 2015, the grass schedule will be reworked. Halle and The Queen’s Club will become ATP 500 level events in 2015. The friendly rivalry between the two premier grass court tune-up events will continue as they are scheduled for the same week once again in 2015. Queen’s Club has a much longer and more impressive history. Halle has a retractable roof and a contemporary feel. With Rafael Nadal recently opting to play in Germany rather than the UK for his Wimbledon tune-up, the two events are pulling similar quality in terms of star power. Andy Murray is committed to play Queen’s Club whereas the aging yet ageless Federer is locked-in to Halle. Novak Djokovic may once again play a tune-up event on grass with the extra week between Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Nole’s appearance at one of these two events will likely be valuable so to speak.
Each event has a cool trophy