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'Roger Federer favourite for Wimbledon'

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 26-06-2017 skysports.com

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"I would say that's the best performance I've seen from Roger Federer this season," Barry Cowan applauds the 18-time Grand Slam champion after his perfect display of grass-court tennis in Halle. 

Federer thrashed Alexander Zverev to win his ninth title at the Gerry Weber open on Sunday and has still only lost two matches this year en route to four titles, including the Australian Open in January.

The top seed lost his first match of the grass-court season last week in Stuttgart to Tommy Haas, but was in imperious form all week in Germany, culminating in the 6-1 6-3 victory over the home favourite Zverev.

The 35-year-old will head into Wimbledon, which starts on July 3, as favourite to win an outright record eighth title and Sky Sports' tennis analyst Cowan believes he will be the man to beat at his favourite Grand Slam tournament.

"I would say that's the best performance I've seen from Federer this season," said Cowan. "That eclipsed the Rafael Nadal matches and he's as heavy favourite going into Wimbledon as Rafa was going into the French.

"On quick courts this year, he's won all the big events. He's also playing a brand of tennis that no one else can play. He's incredibly relaxed, and although he's won Wimbledon before, he would love to add another title.

"If he plays how he has been playing, right now, there is no one who is close to him. Things can happen, things can change, if he has tough matches en route, he might feel it physically in the final. But from what I've seen, he's the overwhelming favourite."

Cowan hailed Federer's 53-minute demolition job over the up and coming Zverev as an "amazing performance".

He said: "You always have an idea how you want to play matches or how can you make life uncomfortable for players, but for Federer to come out right from the word go in a huge match - because Zverev is destined for greatness - he just dismantled him

"He carved him up with amazing tennis. He served well and threw in some outstanding drop shots - Zverev just never felt comfortable.

"Zverev was a little nervous in the first game as Federer decided to receive first, and that's understandable, but then all of a sudden the Swiss was a break up."

With Nadal tearing things up at Roland Garros where he sealed his 'La Decima' of 10 titles in Paris, conceding just 35 games in his seven matches, Cowan feels Federer could do something similar at Wimbledon.

"Federer is moving phenomenally well and most people felt it was a good decision for him to miss the clay-court season. It was an even better decision when you saw the way Nadal was playing because what it did was help Federer focus solely on the grass.

"It is very different in terms of movement between clay and grass so he could spend time working on certain aspects on his game."


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