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Federer makes history in Dubai, wins 100th title

Roger Federer made history at the Dubai Duty Free Championships, defeating reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 to win his 100th tour-level title.

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Federer in fine form as Switzerland win Hopman Cup

Roger Federer became the most successful player in Hopman Cup history when he led Switzerland to a 2-1 win in an enthralling final of the mixed teams tournament in Perth.

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Federer beats Raonic for Stuttgart title, his 18th on grass

Roger Federer claimed his 98th tour-level title and 18th grass-court trophy, displayed his unrivalled superiority on grass with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory over Milos Raonic in the Mercedes Cup final in Stuttgart.

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Federer cruises past Dimitrov to claim Rotterdam title

Roger Federer celebrated his return to the top of the world rankings with his second title of the season, swatting aside Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tournament in Rotterdam.

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Federer becomes oldest ATP World No.1

Roger Federer guaranteed his return to No.1 in the ATP Rankings after beating Dutchman Robin Haase 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Roger Federer wins World Sportsman and Comeback of the Year at Laureus Awards

Roger Federer was honoured by the 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards on Tuesday, picking up the Sportsman of the Year and Comeback of the Year awards at the ceremony in Monaco.

The Swiss tennis icon, who reclaimed the World No. 1 ranking after overcoming a knee injury and winning his 20th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open last month, fought off competition from Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Mo Farah, Lewis Hamilton and Chris Froome to land the Sportsman of the Year award.

Federer's awards were his fifth and sixth since the Laureus Awards began in 2000, making him the most decorated winner in its history.

"I didn't believe I would ever come back to this level," said Federer. "The year I had was something else. This means the world to me. The comebacks are always extremely emotional. Last year was a dream come true.

"This is a very special moment for me. Everyone knows how highly I value my Laureus Awards, so to win another would have been wonderful, but to win two is a truly unique honour. And so unexpected.

"I am delighted and I would like to thank the Laureus Academy for all their support. It was an unforgettable year for me, to come back after a very difficult 2016 and these Awards just make it even more memorable.

"When I won my first Laureus Award back in 2005, if you had said I would have ended up winning six I would not have believed you. It's been an amazing ride."

Following a 2016 season curtailed by knee and back problems, Federer returned in 2017 to win seven titles, including two Grand Slams and three ATP World Tour Masters 1000s in a run that laid the groundwork for his eventual return to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings earlier this month.

Date: 27 February 2018, Source: Sky Sports, BBC and ATP

Federer cruises past Dimitrov to claim Rotterdam title

Roger Federer celebrated his return to the top of the world rankings with his second title of the season, swatting aside Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tournament in Rotterdam on Sunday.

Federer, 36, who guaranteed becoming the oldest ever ATP world number one by reaching the semi-final, had won all six of his previous meetings with Dimitrov and was in command throughout Sunday's 55-minute final.

He broke the Bulgarian opponent early in the contest and cruised to a one-set lead at the Ahoy Rotterdam. Putting Dimitrov under heavy pressure throughout the championship clash, he fired 15 winners and converted four of eight break chances.

Playing flawless tennis, the 20-times major winner carried the momentum forward in the second set to seal a 97th career title and third in Rotterdam having won in 2005 defeating his current coach Ivan Ljubicic, and in 2012 with victory over Juan Martin del Potro.

"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 midway through and I never looked back. I was able to execute my tennis the way I wanted to. I'm very happy."

The Swiss, who won the Australian Open last month for the second year in succession, also improved his head-to-head record against world number five Dimitrov to 7-0.

With King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in attendance, it was Dimitrov who burst out the gates behind a blistering start. The World No. 4 sent an early message across the net with a stunning backhand winner and running cross-court forehand in the opening game. He would claim seven of the first eight winners and it looked to be a tight affair in the Dutch city.

But a netted backhand drew first blood for Federer in the fifth game and he would not look back. The Swiss did not yield an inch from the baseline and a rattled Dimitrov saw a total of 13 unforced errors come off his racquet in the first set. And an immediate break to open the second would prove decisive. Federer crossed the finish in just under an hour, marking the second straight year he has streaked to a title in less than 60 minutes. He defeated Alexander Zverev in 53 minutes in Halle last year.

"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."

With his victory in the Rotterdam final, Federer clinched a record 20th ATP World Tour 500 level title. He was previously tied with Nadal with 19 crowns.

Federer has carried the momentum from a dominant finish to 2017 into the new season, opening his campaign with a ruthless 12-0 start. Since falling to Del Potro in the US Open quarter-finals, he has won 25 of 26 matches, with his only blemish coming in the semis of the ATP Finals (l. to Goffin).

Despite falling in the championship, Dimitrov celebrates a 15th final appearance on the ATP World Tour. He streaked to the final without dropping a set, earning impressive wins over in-form opponents Yuichi Sugita, Filip Krajinovic and Andrey Rublev.

"It was a great week, but I just came up short today," said Dimitrov. "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."

Federer will now decide within a few days whether or not to travel to Dubai for the ATP event starting a week from Monday.

He has a home and training base in the UAE and has won the hardcourt tournament seven times.

Date: 18 February 2018, Source: Reuters, ATP and AFP

Federer to face Dimitrov in Rotterdam final

Roger Federer reached his third ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament final on Saturday after beating Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-6 (3).

The two-time Rotterdam champion moved into the championship match after one hour, 24 minutes and will aim to become the first player in the tournament’s history to win the event on three occasions on Sunday. Federer guaranteed with his quarter-final victory against Robin Haase that he will become the oldest World No. 1 in the history of the ATP Rankings on Monday.

“I wasn't sure if I was going to get out of this one today,” admitted Federer. “It was tough, maybe my best match of the tournament. I am very excited to be in the final here in Rotterdam.”

If Federer goes on to win the title, it will be the 15th year in the 36-year-old’s career that he has won multiple tour-level titles. The right-hander is pursuing trophy No. 97.

The Swiss superstar will meet World No. 5 Grigor Dimitrov for the title after fourth seed David Goffin retired from his semi-final against the Bulgarian with an eye injury while trailing 3-6, 1-0. Federer has won all six previous ATP Head to Head meetings with Dimitrov. If the top seed goes on to win, it will be the 30th time that he defeated a Top 5 opponent in the final to earn a tour-level title.

“He is in great form,” Federer said of Dimitrov. “He had a wonderful season last year. He started solid again this year, so I think he is fresh, ready and eager to go. I enjoy playing against Grigor. I am going to have to try to play aggressive, to play my game and then hope for the best.”

Federer said he was more relaxed on Saturday after achieving his goal of returning to World No. 1.

“Maybe the pressure being gone helped me a little bit,” he said.

Dimitrov, 10 years younger than Federer, will be playing for his ninth career title.

Date: 17 February 2018, Source: ATP and AP

Federer becomes oldest ATP World No.1

Roger Federer guaranteed his return to No.1 in the ATP Rankings after beating Dutchman Robin Haase 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

By overtaking Spaniard Rafael Nadal at No.1 on Monday, Federer will break a number of ATP Rankings records - the longest period between stints at No.1, the oldest player to attain top spot and the longest duration between first and last days at the summit of men’s professional tennis.

Richard Krajicek, the Rotterdam Tournament Director, presented Federer with a special award in an on-court ceremony. "What an amazing run it’s been and a journey it’s been for me throughout, so to clinch World No.1 again this following Monday here in Rotterdam really means a lot to me, so thank you very much, everybody," Federer told the crowd.

"I think reaching No.1 is one of, if not the ultimate achievement in our sport. So sometimes at the beginning you just all of a sudden get there just because you’re playing so well. Later you sometimes try to fight it back and you wrestle it back from somebody else who deserved to be there. And when you’re older, you know you feel like you have to put maybe sometimes double the work in. So this one maybe means the most to me of any achievement throughout my career, getting to No.1 and enjoying it right here at 36, almost 37 years old. It is an absolute dream come true, I can’t believe it."

His third straight victory over Haase means that the Swiss superstar has completed a dramatic return from No.17 in January 2017, following a six-month lay-off due to a knee injury. Since returning, Federer has compiled a 63-5 match record, including titles at three of the past five Grand Slam championships, three ATP World Tour Masters 1000s and two other tournaments.

Having saved three break points at 1-1, Haase appeared not to have read the script when the World No.42 broke Federer for a 5-4 lead, then calmly closed out the 35-minute opener. Federer refocused and signaled his aggressive intent by winning four first-serve points in his opening service game of the second set, which lasted just 19 minutes. From a 3-1 lead in the second set, Federer won nine of the next 10 games to wrap up the match in 80 minutes.

Federer has ensured top spot for the first time since 4 November 2012, five years and 106 days ago - the longest period of time between stints at World No.1. At 36 years of age, Federer is also the oldest player to become No.1, eclipsing the record held by American Andre Agassi, who last held the top spot aged 33 on 7 September 2003.

Federer first became No.1 in the ATP Rankings on 2 February 2004 - a record 14 years and 17 days ago - for a total of 237 straight weeks until 17 August 2008. He then returned to the top spot on two further occasions between 6 July 2009 and 6 June 2010 (48 weeks) and from 9 July 2012 to 4 November 2012 (17 weeks).

Nadal, his great rival, started his fourth stint at No. 1 on 21 August 2017 - 26 weeks ago - and has been the sport’s leader for 167 weeks in total. Federer, with a 10-0 record in 2018, will now add to his record of 302 weeks at No.1 when the latest ATP Rankings are published on Monday.

Date: 16 February 2018, Source: ATP

Federer on brink of becoming oldest No.1

Roger Federer moved to within one victory of becoming the oldest man to take the World No.1 ranking on Thursday with a hard-fought 7-6 (8), 7-5 victory over Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Rotterdam Open. The 36-year-old will now face Robin Haase in the quarter-finals on Friday.

“It was extremely complicated tonight,” Federer said. “I had a good game plan going in, but I was never able to completely pull it off. I couldn’t find my range or my rhythm. I think Philipp did that to me; it was a struggle. When the score was close, I couldn’t release my shots. So it was a battle. It was quite the relief at the end.”

Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam title winner, then eased to victory in the 12th game with a volley winner on second match point.

The Swiss superstar must now defeat Dutchman Haase, who beat Griekspoor 6-4, 6-0 in the final match of the day, to return to the summit of men’s professional tennis for the first time in more than five years.

Federer, the 2005 and 2012 champion, is excited about the possibility of returning to the top of the rankings 19 years after he played Rotterdam in 1999 on his first career wild card.

“This is an exciting challenge, I've struggled to try and get there. I had to win a lot of matches last year,” said Federer, who was world number one for the first time in February 2004.

However, he was last at the summit in October 2012 and slumped to 17 in the world in January last year.

“I never imagined this after my (February 2016) knee surgery. Number one is a tough place to get to.

“The most important thing is to be healthy, I would have had great regrets if I had not come here this week. I'm very excited for tomorrow's match, I can't wait for it to come around.”

Date: 15 February 2018, Source: AFP and ATP

Federer begins bid for No.1 spot with easy win

Roger Federer began his quest to return to No.1 in the ATP Rankings for the first time in over five years with a 6-1, 6-2 win over qualifier Ruben Bemelmans at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Federer, who will overtake Rafael Nadal at the top of the ATP Rankings if he reaches the semi-finals, moved to within just two wins of the achievement after his 47-minute, first-round win over the No. 116.

“It was very surprising how good things went today,” admitted Federer. “I think the key was to start off well and put Ruben under pressure right away and make him feel like he had to do something special.”

The top seed raced to a one-set lead in just 18 minutes against his Belgian opponent, dropping just four points on serve as he won clinched set point with a put-away forehand winner. The second set continued in much the same vein as the opener, with Federer immediately breaking and consolidating to love for a 2-0 lead. Federer had two break points for a double-break lead in the next game, but the qualifier held firm to keep the deficit to a single break.

Federer did get the second break in the penultimate game of the match, rifling a backhand passing shot that Bemelmans could only return short before the World No. 2 swatted the ball into the open court. The two-time champion then completed a perfect set on serve, winning 16 out of 16 service points, holding to love for the fourth time in a row to secure his place in the second round.

The 36-year-old has now moved one step closer to becoming the oldest World No. 1 in history, with Andre Agassi currently holding the record. The American last held the top spot on 7 September 2003 at 33. Federer’s is yet to lose a match against his next opponent, Philipp Kohlschreiber. The 20-time Grand Slam champion leads their ATP Head to Head series 12-0.

“It's a different match, changing from lefty to righty,” said Federer. “I just hope I can play a good match. It is a sprint to the finish.

“The beginning will be crucial tomorrow, you don't want to fall behind, you want to stay focussed all the way. Any lapses could mean that you get in trouble. But, I enjoy playing against Philipp, I played really good against him at the US Open so I hope I can keep that up tomorrow night.”

Date: 14 February 2018, Source: ATP

Highly motivated Federer wants No.1 Ranking

Roger Federer has his sights set on overtaking Rafael Nadal at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings this week at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, where he competes for the first time since 2013. A semi-final run would return the Swiss star to the summit of men’s professional tennis for the first time since 4 November 2012.

"I only ever said I would think about the Rankings after the Australian Open was over," said Federer in Rotterdam on Monday. "I did not expect to win the Australian Open again and by not winning the ATP Finals, I never thought it would happen again and it may be out of sight. I played at the Australian Open not thinking about the rankings, but I knew I had the flexibility in February over my calendar.

"After the Australian Open was over, I thought I’d love to play Rotterdam and give it a go. Our team is very excited, that I’m here and that I will give it a go. You have to do it, not because it’s the right thing to do, but you have to be here with all your heart and really go for it. Try my very best. Having the option of getting to No. 1 is highly motivating and very exciting to say the least."

The 36-year-old would guarantee a return to No. 1 next Monday if he advances to the semi-finals in Rotterdam. If he reaches Friday’s quarter-finals, Federer could meet fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka.

"I would love to be in that position with anyone, but with Stan it would be like a Grand Slam final, a big-time match. I'm hoping to get to number one and hoping to do it this week. You always want to do it the tough way, it's not easy to get there. The achievement would be quite incredible. It's exciting to see Stan in my section of the draw."

Federer is competing at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament for the first time since capturing his sixth Australian Open crown, and his 20th Grand Slam championship, on 28 January. He opens his ninth Rotterdam campaign Wednesday against 30-year-old Belgian qualifier and World No. 116 Ruben Bemelmans. It will be the first meeting between the players.

If Federer does get back to No. 1 on 19 February, the gap of five years and 106 days will be the longest between stints at No. 1. At 36, he would also become the oldest World No. 1, replacing American Andre Agassi (aged 33), who last held the top spot on 7 September 2003.

Two-time former Rotterdam champion Federer is one of seven players in the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings competing at the Dutch tournament. Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev, last year’s finalist David Goffin, 2015 winner Stan Wawrinka, 2014 champion Tomas Berdych and last week’s Open Sud de France champion Lucas Pouille also feature in the draw.

Date: 12 February 2018, Source: ATP and AFP

Federer to bid for World No.1 spot in Rotterdam

Roger Federer is taking a wild card into next week’s ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, where he will have the chance to reclaim the No.1 ATP Ranking for the first time in more than five years.

Federer, who last held the top spot on 4 October 2012, moved to within 155 points of Rafael Nadal after claiming his 20th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and could dethrone Nadal as World No.1 if he reaches the semi-finals in Rotterdam.

Federer has previously played the ATP World Tour 500 tournament eight times, taking the title in 2005 and 2012.

Federer, 36, first rose to No.1 14 years ago on 2 February 2004 and holds the record for most weeks spent at No.1 (302). He is attempting to eclipse Andre Agassi (33) as the oldest World No.1.

Nadal, who is not scheduled to play again until Acapulco in the last week of February, has held No.1 for the past 25 weeks (since 21 August 2017). The Spaniard has been No.1 in the ATP Rankings a total of 166 weeks since first taking over on 18 August 2008. Nadal is seventh all-time in most weeks at No.1 in the history of the ATP Rankings (since 1973).

Federer said: "The tournament is special for me. I remember playing for the first time in 1999 as it was one of the first events where I got the chance to play at the highest level. It feels good to join in the celebrations of the 45th edition."

Rotterdam Tournament Director Richard Krajicek said: "We are thrilled that Roger has chosen to come to the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament at last minute. After his fantastic result at the Australian Open, it is tremendous news that he will be joining us in Rotterdam. It is a crown to the celebration of the history of our tournament."

Federer has a 23-6 record at the tournament. In addition to his two titles, he reached the final in 2001 and semi-finals in 2003. His last appearance at the Rotterdam Ahoy stadium in The Netherlands was 2013, when he lost in the quarter-finals to Julien Benneteau.

The Swiss great completes a strong field for the Rotterdam event, joining compatriot Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev, David Goffin defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych and Nick Kyrgios in the draw.

Date: 7 February 2018, ATP and AFP