ATP Rotterdam: Roger Federer sees off Grigor Dimitrov for 97th ATP crown

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ATP Rotterdam: Roger Federer sees off Grigor Dimitrov for 97th ATP crown

Back in 1999, 17-year-old Roger Federer came to Rotterdam for the first time ranked 178th and he had a great run, reaching the quarter-final before losing to world number 2 Yevgeny Kafelnikov in three tight sets. 19 years later Roger will leave Rotterdam with his third title (2005 and 2012) and world number 1 ranking after a commanding 6-2 6-2 win over Grigor Dimitrov in just 55 minutes. This was the 97th ATP crown for Roger in his illustrious career and the second of the season after defending his Australian Open title.

This was their seventh meeting and Roger is still undefeated against the Bulgarian, scoring his most dominant win so far against world number 5. Grigor was toe to toe with Roger in the first four games of the match but Federer raced through the rest of encounter, never facing a break point and breaking Grigor four times from eight opportunities he created.

The tournament director Richard Krajicek has said that Dimitrov got sick on Saturday night and that he couldn't play at his best, which was evident on the court. This was the 20th ATP 500 crown for Roger who is now the leader in that category, leaving Nadal on 19, and he reached 10000-point mark for the first time since January 2013.

Roger was flawless in his service games, dropping seven points and keeping Grigor away from break points. On the other hand, Grigor was powerless with his initial shot, hitting only one ace and losing 45% of the points in his games to find himself in trouble in almost every service game after those two at the start of the match.

This was the most desired final once the draw came out and they were off to a great start, with just three points for the returners in the opening four games. Out of sudden, Grigor faded from the court and he never regained his composure after netting a backhand that cost him his service game at 2-2.

Roger took full control and he broke again in game seven after another groundstroke error from the Bulgarian. A service winner gave Roger the opening set in the eight game, winning 20 out of the last 26 points to bring the set home in some 25 minutes.

Grigor continued to struggle in set number two, spraying a backhand wide to drop serve in the first game and he drifted further and further away from the title. He saved a break point in game three to end his drought but Roger pulled another break when Grigor double faulted in game five.

A volley winner gave Federer the title in the eight game, completing one of his fastest triumphs in the ATP finals and celebrating a historic week that brought him so much. Final result:


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