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Federer claims sixth Halle crown



Halle, Germany (Sports Network) - Roger Federer's first title in 2013 came at a place where he's had much success.

The Swiss superstar rallied past Russian Mikhail Youzhny by a 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4 margin to capture his sixth Gerry Weber Open title. In the process, Federer improved to 15-0 all-time against Youzhny.

Federer lost to Rafael Nadal in his other final this year last month in Rome. He was a quarterfinal loser to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last weekend at the French Open, but was able to turn around his season on his favorite surface.

Grass has always suited Federer well. Seven of his record 17 Grand Slam titles have come on the famed lawns of Wimbledon, where he will return later this month as defending champion. Federer, who is now 6-2 in title matches in Halle, improved to 121-17 on grass.

Federer previously won this tournament from 2003-06 and again in 2008. He lost to Lleyton Hewitt in the 2010 finale before falling to Tommy Haas last year.

"I'm very happy. It was a great week for me and my family," said Federer, who won his 77th career title to draw even with John McEnroe in third position in the career titles list. "I thought I played well from the start and I really had to fight for it, in the semis against Tommy Haas and in the finals against Mikhail Youzhny.

"I think I did well today and they are exactly the kind of wins I need at this part of the season. I've been preparing well for this part of the season and I'm happy it's paying off. It's obviously important for my confidence looking forward to Wimbledon now."

Federer and Youzhny met for the first time since the quarterfinals at Wimbledon last year, a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 Federer rout. Federer also claimed a 6-1, 6-4 victory in the semifinals at this event last year and also beat Youzhny here in the 2002 quarterfinals, 2003 semifinals and 2004 round of 16.

Federer is 77-35 all-time in title matches, while Youzhny is 8-11.

Federer took home $163,000 with the victory.

06/16 14:42:41 ET