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Tennis
German town names street after Swiss great
Tennis star Roger Federer is honoured by German town Halle after street is dedicated to ambassador of tournament.
Last Modified: 08 May 2012 17:53
Federer has been loyal to the event in Halle for more than a decade and was "honoured" by decision [AFP]


The small German town of Halle, known around the world for the grass court tennis event dominated by Roger Federer, has paid tribute to its biggest ambassador by naming a street after the 16-times Grand Slam champion.

Since the start of May, a street leading to the stadium, known as Weststrasse, is now called the Roger-Federer-Allee.

"It was this personal commitment to us and the fact that he is highly respected the world over that led us to consider how we could honour him," tournament director Ralf Weber said on Tuesday.

Federer, 30, has used the event in the sleepy Westphalia town for more than a decade to prepare for Wimbledon. Most of his top rivals opted in the past to play the event at Queen's in London.

Federer has won at Halle five times and has a "lifetime contract" with the tournament - if the Swiss great plays a pre- Wimbledon event, then it is the one in Halle.

World number one Novak Djokovic and world number two Rafa Nadal are set to join Federer at this year's tournament.

Tournament officials released a letter from the third-ranked Swiss star in which he said he is "extremely humbled and honoured" by the gesture, calling it an "amazing honour."

Federer is currently preparing for the Madrid Open where concerns have been raised over the new blue clay surface.

"I've played on it for two days, but not on centre court," said Federer, back on the ATP Tour after more than five weeks of holiday rest and training.

"It feels a bit different than regular clay. Maybe it's the visual aspect. It's been cool and rainy so far here. It will be interesting to see how it is in hot and nice weather.

"There is still some waiting to do and matches are quite a bit different than practices. I have to wait for my match to come around to give a proper opinion."

Source:
Agencies
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