Roger Federer finally won his first title of 2013 in Halle, defeating Mikhail Youzhny in three sets 6-7 6-3 6-4. Given that Federer held a 14-0 record over the Russian in their previous meetings, many expected a straight forward victory but it didn’t quite pan out that way.
Federer looked to strike early and earned a 0-40 in the first service game of his opponent but was unable convert as the Russian took the opening game. Both players had few chances in the rest of the set, with Federer and Youzhny both failing to take break points at 5-5 and 6-5 respectively, the latter a set point for Youzhny. It would go to a tie break, with Youzhny taking the all important point at 5-5 on the Federer serve and converting his next set point on serve.
Behind 11 aces, Federer defended his serve all match as he was not broken once throughout. In the second he dropped just two points on his first serve. Federer would finally break for the first time in the match to take a 5-3 lead in the set, after failing to convert on the opportunity before.
The decider was more of the same, with Federer dominant on serve and just waiting to strike on return. He finally made the breakthrough at 3-3, converting at 15-40 with a backhand pass to take control of the match. He would finish off the match in style, serving out to love to finally end his trophy drought at a vital time as he prepares to defend his Wimbledon title in a few weeks time.
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