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Roger Federer Finishes Off PeRFect Week In Rotterdam With Final Win Over Grigor Dimitrov

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



By Ricky Dimon


Having already accomplished his main goal at the 2018 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, Roger Federer went two steps farther and capped off the week in grand style by capturing his third Rotterdam title with a 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday. Federer cruised from start to finish against an under-the-weather opponent, securing the winner’s trophy after just 55 minutes of action.


“I was expecting it to be tough today,” the the Swiss said. “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.”


Maybe Federer should not have expected it to be difficult. After all, he was already 6-0 lifetime in the head-to-head series with Dimitrov heading into this contest. And when the Bulgarian looked like has 100 percent throughout the first set, Federer still eased through it with the loss of only two games. Dimitrov started to fade in the opening game of the set two, at which point Federer was off to the races.


The 20-time major champion clinched a return trip to the top ranking spot by reaching the semis, and with a total of 500 points he is now guaranteed to remain No. 1 at least through next month’s Indian Wells BNP Masters. Rafael Nadal, who had been the world No. 1, is expected to return from a hip injury and begin his quest to retake the top spot later this month on the hard courts of Acapulco. Nadal sustained the injury in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.


For now, though, it’s all about Federer.


“It’s definitely one of those weeks I will never forget in my life,” the 36-year-old added. “It’s unbelievable to get my 97th title and get back to world No. 1. It’s very special.


“I played a great first match and a great last match. 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.”


“It was a great week, but I just came up short today,” Dimitrov commented. “Anything can happen, but all credit to Roger. He deserves to win the tournament and played unbelievable tennis the whole week. He raised the bar. I just want to take the positives from the week. My goal was to come out here and play well with each match, but I just came up short today. You do the best you can and play with whatever you have. I was following my game to the capacity I could and that was the result.”


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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