Federer returns to No.1
Originally published on 16/02/18 00:00
The 36 year-old overcame an early scare to defeat Robin Haase 4-6 6-1 6-1 and secure a spot in the semi-finals of the ABN AMBRO in Rotterdam.
It’s a 10th consecutive victory for the Swiss, and he is just two more wins away from a 97th career triumph, however his primary objective this week has already been achieved.
To become the oldest world No.1 in ATP history, Federer had to reach the last four – and despite encountering turbulence against the home-favourite, he accomplished his mission with considerable aplomb.
It’s been a whirlwind 12 months for Federer – winning silverware on seven occasions – and he will begin an unprecedented 303rd week in top spot on Monday,
Federer first reached the summit in 2004, and it’s been over five years since he lasted sat at the top of the tree. It's another remarkable achievement for the ageless Swiss, especially considering he didn’t play the European clay-court swing last summer.
Haase threatened to inflict a shock defeat on his illustrious opponent after taking the first set, but his challenge quickly fizzled out. The Dutchman won just two more games after his promising opening, and he looked to be struggling with illness.
He completed the match though, and an untimely double-fault enabled Federer to achieve another slice of history.
Grigor Dimitrov joined Federer in the last four by overcoming Andrey Rublev 6-3 6-4. He will take on David Goffin for a place in the final after Tomas Berdych pulled out.
“I think overall the game went well today and I had a high percentage on my first serve,” said Dimitrov. “I think that’s the biggest difference from yesterday, moving better and going for my shots better.”
The last quarter final to be played is between Andreas Seppi and Daniil Medvedev. Federer will encounter the winner on Saturday.