Roger Federer made his Halle debut in 2000 at the age of 18, finding the perfect testing ground for Wimbledon and becoming the ultimate legend of this event in the last two decades. In 2003, the Swiss won the first ATP grass-court title in Halle before confirming supremacy on the fastest surface at Wimbledon, winning the first Major at the All England Club and repeating the Halle-Wimbledon double in 2004. A few days after losing to Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros semi-final in 2005, Roger kicked off Halle’s sixth campaign and defeated five solid players to clinch the third consecutive crown at this event and extend the winning streak on the green surface. In the first round, Roger barely escaped an early loss to Robin Soderling, prevailing 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 in two hours and 21 minutes after being two points from the starting gate twice. Robin led 7-6, 5-4, 30-15 and held a 5-4 lead in the second set tiebreaker before Federer beat it 8-6 and brought the match home with a break in the 10th game in the decisive one. The Swiss only needed 58 minutes to beat Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-4 in the second round, losing serve twice and making five breaks to control the score and march into the quarters where Philipp Kohlschreiber fell 6-3, 6 -4 after 62 minutes. Federer saved all three break points and stole the German’s serve once in each set to enter the semi-finals against another German and his friend Tommy Haas. By not offering break opportunities, Roger achieved a 6-4, 7-6 victory, taking the second set tie break 11-9 to reserve a spot in Halle’s third consecutive final where he faced Marat Safin on the 12th of June. It was an opportunity for Federer to serve up the rematch after that epic encounter in the Australian Open semi-final five months earlier, when Safin prevailed 9-7 in the deciding set after saving a match point to advance to the final after four and a half hours.
Becker speaks about Roger Federer
In a recent article, tennis legend Boris Becker wrote that this was perhaps the last time fans have seen Roger Federer at the Wimbledon Championships. “I have the feeling that he will not be back at Wimbledon this time next summer after what happened this week, which I think will have been a shock to him,” mentioned Becker. Becker further wrote that Federer initially came up with a plan to give himself some time and then think about winning another major. However, Becker feels that Federer should now be thinking about his retirement as the defeat against Hurkacz completely changed the dynamics for him. “I think Roger arrived here thinking everything was pretty much going to his plan, which was to recover from his knee problems, get fit on the clay, and put himself in a strong position to go very deep at SW19. I don’t believe that he came here deliberating when the best time is to retire, but he may well be doing so now. The manner of his defeat to Hubert Hurkacz changed things,” highlighted the 6-time Grand Slam winner.