On this day: Roger Federer sprints past Grigor Dimitrov for Rotterdam crown



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On this day: Roger Federer sprints past Grigor Dimitrov for Rotterdam crown

In 1999, the 17-year-old Roger Federer ranked 178th played in Rotterdam for the first time and had a great run, reaching the quarter-final before losing to world no. 2 Yevgeny Kafelnikov in three tight sets. Nineteen years later, the 36-year-old Roger left Rotterdam with his third title (2005 and 2012) and world no.

1 ranking by his name after a commanding 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Grigor Dimitrov in just 55 minutes on February 18, 2018. It was the 97th ATP crown for Roger and the second of the season after defending his Australian Open title, beating world no.

5 for the seventh time in as many encounters. Grigor was there to fight with Roger in the first four games before Federer raced through the rest of the encounter, never facing a break point and stealing Grigor's serve four times from eight opportunities.

The tournament director Richard Krajicek later revealed that Dimitrov got sick on Saturday night and couldn't play at his best, which was evident on the court. It was the 20th ATP 500 crown for Roger, who became the leader in that category after leaving Nadal on 19.

At 36, the Swiss became the oldest world no. 1 and reached the 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 chances.

Roger Federer won the Rotterdam title on February 18, 2018.

On the other hand, Dimitrov couldn't do much with his initial shot, hitting only one ace and losing 45% of the points to find himself in trouble in almost every service game after those two at the beginning of the match.

It 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 a sudden, Grigor faded from the court and never regained his composure after netting a backhand that cost him his service game at 2-2.

Roger took full control and broke again in game seven after another Bulgarian's groundstroke error. A service winner gave Federer the opening set at 5-2, winning 20 out of the last 26 points to bring the set home in 25 minutes.

Grigor struggled again in set number two, spraying a backhand wide to drop serve in the first game and drifting further away from the title. The Bulgarian saved a break point in game three to end his drought, but Roger pulled another break when Grigor hit a double fault at 1-3.

A volley winner provided the title for Federer in the eighth game, completing one of his fastest triumphs in the ATP finals and celebrating a historic week that sent him to the ATP throne for the first time since 2012!