tennis10sBalls.com

Roger Federer Triumphs For 10th Time in Halle, Feliciano Lopez Wins 2nd Queen’s Club Title

By Ricky Dimon

 

Roger Federer has been turning back the clock over and over again throughout what are presumably the latter stages of his incredible career. Feliciano Lopez apparently took notes.

 

On the same day that Federer continued his outstanding form by triumphing for a 10th time in Halle, Lopez captured a far more surprising title by completing an improbable, grueling, and dramatic run at Queen’s Club. The Spaniard survived a fourth consecutive three-set battle, outlasting fellow unseeded finalist Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-6(2) to lift the Fever-Tree Championships trophy for the second time.

 

“I thought thought the best moment of my career was when I won this tournament in 2017 and was here talking to you with the trophy,” Lopez said during the on-court ceremony. “But it is not. It is right now.”

 

It almost didn’t happen, as the 37-year-old came close to losing in round one, again in the quarters, again in the semis, and again on Sunday. In a thrilling final between two veterans running on fumes due to energy-sapping matches from stat to finish, Lopez saved three break points early in the third set. Simon fought off seven break points in the decider, including one championship point at 5-6 before forcing a tiebreaker.

 

In the ‘breaker, the 34-year-old Frenchman double-faulted at 2-3 for the first mini-break. With momentum in hand, Lopez cruised the rest of the way without losing another point.

 

“It was a great effort on my side,” said Simon, who played the longest match ever at Queen’s Club–dating back 1991 when records started being kept–against Nicolas Mahut in the QFs. “I played longer than him in singles, and with my game it’s more demanding. It’s quite impressive for him, also…. Right now I have pain in every single part of my body.

 

How Simon and Lopez recover from this week remains to be seen. Federer, also 37 like Lopez, won’t have the same problem.

 

The Swiss endured a couple of tough matches along the way in Halle, but he dominated his semifinal against Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3, 6-3 and then beat David Goffin 7-6(2), 6-1 for the title. Federer fired seven aces while double-faulting only once and he staved off all three of the break points he faced.

 

A 10th title is Federer’s record at a single event. This is also the 102nd of his career, moving him within seven of Jimmy Connors’ mark.

 

“It’s amazing,” Federer commented. “For some reason I didn’t think I was going to make it anymore; didn’t think of it much. I just thought match-for-match because the second round and quarters were so tough that I never really thought about how it would feel if I won. Now it’s reality. [It’s the] first time ever I could win a title 10 times in one place, so it’s obviously a very special moment in my career.”

 

At both tournaments, it was a special week. History-making, in fact.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *