Berlin, June 17 (IANS) Roger Federer earned his first tennis title of the season by beating Mikhail Youzhny with a comeback after almost two hours and three sets in the final of ATP Halle.
The 31-year-old Swiss defeated Russia's Youzhny 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 to lift the 77th title of his career to catch up with John McEnroe here Sunday. Only Ivan Lendl (94) and Jimmy Connor (109) have collected more titles, reports Xinhua.
It was Federer's sixth win in Halle and it started everything but advantageous for the world No. 3, who had to give away the first set as Youzhny sealed the big points with a courageous performance at the tie-break.
The Swiss piled on the pressure to wrap the second set as Youzhny's double fault made the way. At the third set Federer again needed just one break to smooth the way for his sixth title in Halle as Youzhny remained unable to threaten Federer's service.
The ATP World Tour tournament in Halle is a preparation tournament for the Grand Slam on grass, as four of Federer's seven Wimbledon titles have come after victories in Halle.
It is Roger Federer's first tournament win after his triumph in Cincinnati.
"I have won a lot in my career but not recently. My good service saved me in risky situations nonetheless it was a tough match," Federer stated after the match.
The World No. 3 is looking to defend his title at the All England Club in Wimbledon to extend his Grand Slam triumphs to 17.