Roger Federer won his first title of the year yesterday, the World No 3 beating Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4 in the ATP final at Halle.
This was the 31-year-old Swiss great’s sixth Halle title and the 77th win of his career.
After losing the opening set the former world number one battled back to preserve his perfect record over Youzhny in 15 meetings in over two hours of play.
For Federer, beaten by Rafael Nadal in his only previous final appearance of 2013 on the clay in Rome and brushed aside by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the French Open quarter-finals, this was the ideal preparation ahead of his Wimbledon defence.
The top seed, who overcame veteran German Tommy Haas in Saturday’s semi-final. was thrilled to finally get off the mark for the year.