Federer ties grass wins record, takes Weber for 4th year in row

SPORTS DIGEST

June 19, 2006

Roger Federer won his fourth consecutive title at the ATP Gerry Weber Open and tied Bjorn Borg's record of 41 straight grass-court wins with a 6-0, 6-7 (4), 6-2 victory over fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych yesterday in Halle, Germany.

Federer tied Borg's record, set between 1976 and 1981, while playing in his ninth final in nine tournaments in 2006. He became the Halle tournament's only four-time winner.

Federer, beaten in the French Open title match a week earlier by Rafael Nadal, was the first Roland Garros finalist to reach the championship round in the Wimbledon warm-up since former No. 1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1996.

The next longest grass streak after Federer's and Borg's is 23, done twice by Pete Sampras and once by John McEnroe.

ATP Queen's Club -- Lleyton Hewitt defeated American James Blake, 6-4, 6-4, to win the grass-court championship in London. The eighth-seeded Australian, who won three straight titles at the Wimbledon warm-up from 2000 to 2002, joined McEnroe and Boris Becker as four-time winners. "This is fantastic. It's just great to get back in the winner's circle," said Hewitt, who earned his first title since capturing the Sydney event in January 2005. "I lost a tough match to James in the final of Las Vegas earlier this year and I knew I was going to have to step it up even another notch from how I played yesterday against Tim [Henman], and I was able to do that."

WTA DFS Classic -- Vera Zvonareva, who helped lead Russia to victory in the Fed Cup 18 months ago, won her first title in 16 months, a 7-6 (12), 7-6 (5) victory over Jamea Jackson in Birmingham, England. Jackson had advanced to the final by beating four seeded players, including two-time champion Maria Sharapova.

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