Federer eases to Rotterdam title
Originally published on 18/02/18 00:00
The 36-year-old, who will return to world No.1 for the first time since November 2012 on Monday, enjoyed an emphatic 6-2 6-2 win over Grigor Dimitrov in just 55 minutes.
It’s the 97th time Federer has entered the winner’s circle during his illustrious career – and it looks increasingly likely that a 100th triumph will be celebrated before the end of the year.
Dimitrov had been animated and motivated throughout the tournament, however he was subdued in the final. His confidence quickly eroded after a bright opening, and he remains no closer to scoring a first ever victory over the Swiss magician.
"It's definitely one of those weeks I will never forget in my life," said the three-time champion. "It's unbelievable to get my 97th title and get back to World No.1. It's very special.
"I was expecting it to be tough today. Grigor is a great player and a great athlete and he's been playing super well in recent months. I thought that this wasn't going to be the result, but he looked to be struggling a bit and I never looked back.”
Federer banks 500 ranking points for his endeavours in Holland, and he is guaranteed to keep hold of the No.1 ranking for at least another four weeks.
There remains a possibility the Swiss may play Dubai later this month in an attempt to strengthen his grip on top spot, but he will certainly be involved in the action at the first Masters event of the year in Indian Wells.
Elsewhere on a busy weekend, Petra Kvitova can look forward to a return to the Top 10 on Monday after defeating Garbine Muguruza 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the final of the Qatar Open in Doha.
It’s been a remarkable rise for the popular Czech in the face of adversity. Her career was thrown into jeopardy after being stabbed in her left hand by an intruder at her home in December 2016, but she has responded magnificently.
It’s a 13th consecutive victory for the double Wimbledon champion and it’s the 22nd time she has held aloft a WTA trophy.
“I came from the Fed Cup in Prague, so I’ve gone from indoor to outdoor and I’m very proud of myself,” said Kvitova, with a trademark smile. “It was a really tough match and a big fight, so I hope people enjoyed the match.
“When I remember where I was one year ago, I could not really have dreamed of this (returning to Top 10). It’s a very special feeling to be back but I could not be there without my team, my coaches and my family and friends.”