Federer claims third Rotterdam title

Rotterdam: Roger Federer won the Rotterdam World Tennis for a third time on Sunday as the newly crowned world number one crushed Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion capped a perfect week that will send him back to the top of the rankings for the first time in just under six years — and become the oldest man to hold the position at age 36.
Federer took a mere 55 minutes to post his win and claim the 97th trophy of his brilliant career. He broke twice per set against his lukewarm opponent to set up a rapid victory.
“It’s unbelievable to be number one again after all these years, this is one of the best weeks of my life,” he said. “I was expecting a tough final, but I could see that Grigor was not at his best midway through. He’s a great player and a great athlete and has been playing well recently. “I was able to improve my tennis today when I needed to, I was able to take advantage. I’m very, very happy. “The goal at start of week was to make it to the semi-finals. This is absolutely amazing, I’m really pleased.” Federer won the Dutch title in 2005 and 2012 and feels a special affinity for the event, which gave him his first-ever wild card as a teenager in 1999. Federer lost just five official matches in 2017 and is undefeated so far in 2018, with a 12-0 record. The decision will now be whether to travel to his training base in the Gulf next weekend to play the Dubai Classic, an option which he has left open depending on how he feels.
He was flying straight to Switzerland on Sunday to be with his family after another successful and record-setting effort.
“I saved the best for last. I had a great first match and a great last match.
“In between was a battle, it was nerve-wracking getting back to number one. But I was able to manage my nerves and the expectations.
“I was able to handle that pressure. Today I played great from the beginning.”
Federer’s title was more affirmation after he assured himself a first return to the top since late 2012.
His trophy count of 97 is approaching the all-time record of 109 set by US great Jimmy Connors, but the Swiss was cautious when asked if he felt he could reach triple figures himself. — dpa