Roger Federer said that he never thought he would win a tenth Halle title – after doing just that when beating David Goffin 7-6(2), 6-1 in Sunday’s final.
The Halle tournament is clearly a favourite of Federer’s and is now the first at which the 37-year-old has reached double figures for wins.
It was a 102nd tour-level title for Federer, moving him to within seven trophies of Jimmy Connors’ record of 109.
The victory could also see Federer, ranked third in the world, seeded second at Wimbledon ahead of world number two Rafael Nadal.
At the Fever-Tree Championships another 37-year-old, Feliciano Lopez, beat Gilles Simon to claim his second Queen’s Club crown in three years.
Lopez, who spent almost five hours on court on Saturday as he partners Andy Murray in his comeback in the doubles, won 6-2 6-7 (4) 7-6 (2) in two hours and 49 minutes – and then promptly added the doubles title alongside the former world number one.
Roger Federer said he was “very happy” with his level after he beat Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets to reach the semi-finals of the Noventi Open in Halle on Friday.
The Swiss won 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in Germany and was pleased with his performance.
“Yeah, I mean it was very tough, especially in the middle,” said Federer.
“I got off (to) a flyer, you know played great in the first set, I broke him first game and then I broke him last game so in between it was tough.
“I think the result doesn’t lie, we both had chances, especially in that third set too so, yeah, he had one bad game at the very end that cost him dearly, but from my side I’m very happy actually with my level.”
Veteran UAE businessman and cricket aficionado Shyam Bhatia is used to having the biggest names in the history of the game visit his private museum in Jumeirah, Dubai, which houses one of the finest collections of cricket memorabilia in the world.
But it looks like the Shyam Bhatia Museum might soon be visited by sporting royalty outside cricket.
Roger Federer enjoyed a memorable weekend at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, reaching the landmark of 100 tour-level titles after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. 37-year-old Federer joined Jimmy Connors as the only two players to win 100 tour-level titles in the open era.
Bhatia was present at the Aviation Club to witness the historic occasion. And what made the weekend even more special was his interaction with the Swiss icon on Friday where Bhatia not only presented Federer a copy of his book ‘Portraits of the Game’, but also invited Federer to his museum.
“It was a special weekend. I got to meet Roger Federer and presented him my book ‘Portraits of the Game’. He enquired about the book and said he liked the illustrations. I invited Federer to my museum and he said he will visit with his kids,” Bhatia told Sport360.
Bhatia had met Federer three years back at the Dubai Duty Free Championship and this time he got an opportunity have a detailed interaction.
Swiss icon Federer and cricket have crossed paths in the past. Indian batting icons Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli have met Federer during tournaments while the Indian team presented him a jersey during the 2015 World Cup.
Apart from appreciating the history of cricket at the museum, Bhatia aims to exchange ideas about his Cricket For Care programme – that provides kits to children in various countries – with Federer.
For the record, the Roger Federer Foundation supports education projects in six countries in southern Africa.