Federer Cruises to 97th Career Title in Rotterdam – Two days after reclaiming the world #1 ranking, Roger Federer won his third title at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. The Swiss maestro cruised past second seed and world #5 Grigor Dimitrov, 6-2 6-2 in just 55 minutes. The 26-year-old Bulgarian was not as his best Sunday afternoon and the 20-time grand slam champion was all over his opportunity to notch another title. The win marks the 20th ATP 500 tournament title for the 36-year-old Swiss, and his 97th career title. He is 12-0 in 2018 and 64-5 since the start of his return from injury, at the start of the 2017 season.
“It’s definitely one of those weeks I will never forget in my life,” said Federer. “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. I was able to execute my tennis the way I wanted to. I’m very happy.”
“I played a great first match and a great last match,” Federer added. “In between it was a battle and nerve-wracking, getting back to World No. 1 and managing my expectations and my nerves as well. I was able to handle the pressure and today I played great from the beginning. I pushed forward and I’m very proud that I could win here in Rotterdam.”
The Swiss now leads the head-to-head against Dimitrov 7-0, dropping just two sets. He gains 500 ATP points for winning the Rotterdam title and is assured of staying at world #1 through the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March, regardless of Rafael Nadal’s result in Acapulco this month.
While Federer originally had an empty schedule for February, not committing to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships that he has participated in nearly every year, he took a late wildcard entry to play in Rotterdam, with the world #1 ranking within reach on his own terms of winning. He has not yet announced whether he will change his decision to play in Dubai in one week’s time. The world #1’s schedule in the near future includes the Match for Africa 5 exhibition match in San Jose, California, on March 5, followed by the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells later that week.