Swiss great Roger Federer thrashed Alexander Zverev to win his ninth title at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament in Halle on Sunday.
The 18-time Grand Slam champion was surprised by German veteran Tommy Haas on his return from the two-month break last week in Stuttgart but brushed off any doubts over his form in Halle. In the final point of the third game of the second set, Zverev hunted down one of Federer's many drop shots, slid under the net and jarred his left ankle.
Federer won 26 of 28 of his first-serve points, clinching his 16th grass-court title after only 53 minutes with a backhand volley victor.
Fourth seed Cilic battled past Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-3 5-7 6-4 following an hour's delay to the original order of play, while Lopez came through 7-5 3-6 6-2 after an interrupted encounter with Grigor Dimitrov later on Centre Court.
"I think Roger is playing really, really well", Zverev said.
"It was important to be aggressive off the baseline and make him feel my variation and the power I can bring to the court", Federer said. According to odds makers, the 35-year-old Federer enters the 2017 Wimbledon as the favourite, closely followed reigning champion Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Zverev did finally set up a break point on the Federer serve in the first game of the second set, but it passed by and Federer raced on to complete victory. "Probably it's one of the dream finals of the tournament and I'm very much looking forward to it". "It will still be a very hard match".
Federer gave himself a rest during the clay-court season after his triumph in Melbourne and did not afford the world number 12 even the slightest opportunity to challenge for victory.
Federer had words of affection for Zverev, who won their semifinal in Halle a year ago. It was quite quick, and usually in doubles the points are a little bit shorter. He improved his Halle record to 57-6.