ROGER FEDERER WINS HIS 97th ATP WORLD TOUR TENNIS TITLE • ROTTERDAM 2018 ABN AMRO

Written by: on 18th February 2018
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Tennis ATP tournament in Rotterdam
ROGER FEDERER WINS HIS 97th ATP WORLD TOUR TENNIS TITLE • ROTTERDAM 2018 ABN AMRO

epa06540181 Roger Federer of Switzerland poses with his trophy after defeating Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in their final match of the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 18 February 2018. EPA-EFE/KOEN SUYK  |
Roger Federer of Switzerland poses with his trophy after defeating Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in their final match of the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 18 February 2018. EPA-EFE/KOEN SUYK

 

 

By Richard Pagliaro

 

Midway through the second set, Roger Federer took a transcendent trip even higher.

 

Soaring for a smash, Federer snapped a slam sealing his hold on the final with airborne authority.

 

The top-seeded Federer flew past Grigor Dimitrov, 6-2, 6-2, rocketing to his third career Rotterdam title.

 

Attaining history as the oldest-ever ATP world No. 1 this week, Roger is still rising.

 

The victory completes a historic Rotterdam return for the 36-year-old Swiss, who continues to pierce sport’s stratosphere.

 

It is Federer’s 97th career championship—second place all time behind Hall of Famer Jimmy Connors, who won an astounding 109 career titles.

 

“What a weeks—it’s been absolutely amazing,” said Federer, who also won Rotterdam in 2005 and 2012. “The goal was to make it to the semis and I won the tournament so I’m incredibly excited and so, so happy.”

 

It is Federer’s 97th career championship—second placed all time behind Hall of Famer Jimmy Connors, who won an astounding 109 career titles.

 

“What a weeks—it’s been absolutely amazing,” said Federer, who also won Rotterdam in 2005 and 2012. “The goal was to make it to the semis and I won the tournament so I’m incredibly excited and so, so happy.”

 

A rousing Rotterdam run caps a historic week in which Federer surpassed rival Rafael Nadal to regain the world No. 1 ranking becoming the oldest man to hold the top spot.

 

In addition to his age-defying record, Federer set the record for longest time between stints at the top regaining world No. 1 14 years after his initial rise to the top of tennis.

 

The Australian Open champion continues to bring his best against the best. Since the start of 2017, Federer has posted a 64-5 record, including a 16-2 mark vs. Top 10 opposition, winning nine of the 14 tournaments he’s played.

 

Roger Federer (L) of Switzerland walks past Grigor Dimitrov (R) of Bulgaria during a break in their final match of the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 18 February 2018. EPA-EFE/KOEN SUYK

Playing brilliant first-strike tennis, Federer overwhelmed Dimitrov, who did not take an injury timeout but appeared to be struggling with an ankle issue in the second set.

 

A focused Federer served 62 percent, dropped just seven points on serve and did not face a break point in a clinical 55-minute conquest, raising his 2018 record to 12-0.

 

Cruising through early service games, Dimitrov found himself in danger down love-30 in the fifth game.

 

A pair of deep second serves and churning forehand down the line drives helped him draw even, but the Bulgarian’s backhand failed him. Attacking net, Dimitrov pushed an open-court backhand volley long then dragged a backhand down line into net donating the break and a 3-2 lead.

 

While Dimitrov modeled his game on Federer and Sampras, his serving accuracy is not nearly as precise as the Swiss. Federer doesn’t slight up the speed gun as Dimitrov can, but can land every piece of the line.

 

Bending low with his head perfectly still, Federer roped a backhand strike down the line for double break point in the seventh game. Trying to dance around his backhand, Dimitrov jammed himself slapping a forehand into net as Federer snatched the double break and 5-2 lead.

 

Slashing a second serve ace down the middle brought Federer to triple match point. A jolting body serve sealed the 25-minute first set.

 

The top seed commanded the center of the court and set the tone with authoritative serving.

 

Serving 55 percent, Federer won 16 of 20 points played on his serve and did not face a break point. In contrast, Dimitrov, who was sometimes chasing his toss straying too far to the right, served 43 percent and won just nine of 21 first-serve points.

 

The fifth-ranked Dimitrov led David Goffin, 6-3, 0-1 when the Belgian took a ball to his left eye in a freak injury that forced him to retire. Early in the second set today, Dimitrov was clutching at his left ankle between points and lacked some explosiveness on serve.

 

http://www.tennisnow.com/News/2018/February/Goffin-Retires-With-Eye-Injury,-Dimitrov-Into-Rott.aspx The Bulgarian’s backhand was unruly. Dimitrov drifted a backhand down the line wide dropping serve to start the second set.

 

Federer backed up the break at 15 for 2-0.

 

Reading his fellow band member’s serve, Federer whizzed a forehand return winner crosscourt then rapped a backhand return winner down the opposite sideline for two more break points.

 

Roger Federer (L) of Switzerland is congratulated by Grigor Dimitrov (R) of Bulgaria after winning their final match of the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 18 February 2018. EPA-EFE/KOEN SUYK

Though Dimitrov saved the first with a soaring smash, he skipped his third double fault of the day off the tape. Federer’s fourth break extended his lead to 4-1 after a mere 47 minutes.

 

Exploring the entire shot spectrum, Federer deployed the delayed serve-and-volley swatting off an easy forehand completing a love hold for 5-1.

 

Streaking forward, Federer closed in style slashing a backhand volley into the corner.

 

“It’s basically a dream week for us player so thank you very, very much,” Federer told fans afterward. “Thank you very much or the great, great welcome I got this week. I will never forget it.”

 

Neither will we.

Roger Federer(L) of Switzerland poses with his trophy after defeating Grigor Dimitrov (R) of Bulgaria in their final match of the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 18 February 2018. EPA-EFE/KOEN SUYK

 

 

Roger Federer of Switzerland lifts his trophy after defeating Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in their final match of the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 18 February 2018. EPA-EFE/KOEN SUYK

 

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