Federer becomes oldest ATP world number one
Roger Federer v Robin Haase 4-6 6-1 6-1

Federer becomes oldest ATP world number one

16/02/2018

Switzerland's Roger Federer returned to the top of the ATP World rankings for the first time since 2012 after beating Dutchman Robin Haase to reach the semi-finals of the ABN AMRO tournament in Rotterdam on Friday.

Fresh from winning his 20th grand slam title in Melbourne this month, Federer took a wildcard into the ABN AMRO World Tennis event with his eyes fixed on a return to number one for the first time since November 2012.

Needing to reach the last four to overtake great rival Rafael Nadal, Federer showed some early nerves in his quarter-final clash in the port city's Ahoy Arena, dropping serve in the ninth game on his way to conceding the first set.

But the 36-year-old Swiss, as he usually does, moved through the gears to punish a physically struggling Haase.

A demoralised Haase double-faulted on match point and after an initially restrained celebration Federer sat on his chair and looked close to tears as his feat sank in -- as did some of the Swiss fans leading the rapturous applause.

"Reaching number one is one of, if not the ultimate achievement in our sport," Federer said on court after being handed a huge No.1 shaped plaque by Dutch former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek, the tournament director.

"Sometimes at the beginning you just kind of get there because you played so well, but later you have to fight for it and have to wrestle it back from someone who deserves to be there. When you are older you maybe have to put double the work in. This maybe means the most to me in my career."

Federer, whose glittering career has re-ignited since taking six months off in 2016, has won three of the last five grand slams having gone five years without one.

One of the greatest ever late-career runs by any sportsman or woman means he surpasses Andre Agassi who was the previous oldest man to top the ATP rankings.

American Agassi was 33 when he scaled the summit in 2003. He was one of the first to congratulate Federer.

"Roger Federer continues to raise the bar in our sport. Congratulations on yet another remarkable achievement!!" Agassi said on Twitter.

Federer also set another record with the more than five-year gap between his previous and most recent stints as world number one being the longest since ATP rankings began in 1973.

Incredibly Federer first reached number one in 2004, as a 22-year-old, and having now returned there 14 years later playing some of the best tennis of his career, he looks capable of another lengthy stretch on the throne.

He already holds the record of 302 weeks ranked number one. Federer will face either Italian Andrea Seppi or young Russian Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final as he closes in on a 97th career title.

Related news

Jack Sock and Kevin Anderson stun Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in Laver Cup

Jack Sock and Kevin Anderson stun Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in Laver Cup

Jack Sock and Kevin Anderson saw off Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic 6-7 6-3 10-6 in the Laver Cup doubles to give Team World their first point of the tournament in Chicago.

US Open champion Naomi Osaka reaches last four in Tokyo

US Open champion Naomi Osaka reaches last four in Tokyo

US Open champion Naomi Osaka reached the semi-finals of the Pan Pacific Open with a straight-sets victory over Barbora Strycova.

Stan Wawrinka beats defending champion Damir Dzumhur in St Petersburg

Stan Wawrinka beats defending champion Damir Dzumhur in St Petersburg

Former world number three Stan Wawrinka continued his return to form by beating defending champion Damir Dzumhur to reach the last four of the St Petersburg Open.

Injured Rafael Nadal forced to withdraw from Beijing and Shanghai

Injured Rafael Nadal forced to withdraw from Beijing and Shanghai

World number one Rafael Nadal has been forced to withdraw from the China Open in Beijing and the Shanghai Masters next month as he recovers from his latest knee problems.

Novak Djokovic beats Del Potro to claim 14th Grand Slam title at US Open

Novak Djokovic beats Del Potro to claim 14th Grand Slam title at US Open

Novak Djokovic claimed his second Grand Slam in succession and 14th in his illustrious career with a 6-3 7-6 6-3 victory over Juan Martin Del Potro at the US Open.

Serena Williams furious after huge umpire controversy as Naomi Osaka wins US Open

Serena Williams furious after huge umpire controversy as Naomi Osaka wins US Open

Serena Williams was left furious and in tears after a huge controversy involving a coaching violation as Naomi Osaka won the US Open final 6-2 6-4.

US Open Final Live Stream: How to Watch the final of the last Grand Slam of the year

US Open Final Live Stream: How to Watch the final of the last Grand Slam of the year

The final Grand Slam of the year takes centre stage from the 27th as the US Open begins in New York and bet365 will be Live Streaming the action to selected countries across the world.

Imperious Novak Djokovic cruises past Kei Nishikori to reach US Open final

Imperious Novak Djokovic cruises past Kei Nishikori to reach US Open final

Novak Djokovic breezed past Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-4 6-2 to secure his place in the final of the US Open with consummate ease.

Rafael Nadal forced to retire injured as Juan Martin Del Potro reaches US Open final

Rafael Nadal forced to retire injured as Juan Martin Del Potro reaches US Open final

A distraught Rafael Nadal was forced to retire through injury after trailing 7-6 6-2 as Juan Martin Del Potro progressed through to the US Open final where he will face Novak Djokovic.

RELATED NEWS

Jack Sock and Kevin Anderson stun Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in Laver Cup
Jack Sock / Kevin Anderson v Roger Federer / Novak Djokovic 6-7 6-3 10-6

Jack Sock and Kevin Anderson stun Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in Laver Cup

Jack Sock and Kevin Anderson saw off Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic 6-7 6-3 10-6 in the Laver Cup doubles to give Team World their first point of the tournament in Chicago.

US Open champion Naomi Osaka reaches last four in Tokyo
Naomi Osaka v Barbora Strycova 6-3 6-4

US Open champion Naomi Osaka reaches last four in Tokyo

US Open champion Naomi Osaka reached the semi-finals of the Pan Pacific Open with a straight-sets victory over Barbora Strycova.

Stan Wawrinka beats defending champion Damir Dzumhur in St Petersburg
Stan Wawrinka v Damir Dzumhur 6-3 6-4

Stan Wawrinka beats defending champion Damir Dzumhur in St Petersburg

Former world number three Stan Wawrinka continued his return to form by beating defending champion Damir Dzumhur to reach the last four of the St Petersburg Open.

Injured Rafael Nadal forced to withdraw from Beijing and Shanghai
ATP news

Injured Rafael Nadal forced to withdraw from Beijing and Shanghai

World number one Rafael Nadal has been forced to withdraw from the China Open in Beijing and the Shanghai Masters next month as he recovers from his latest knee problems.

Novak Djokovic beats Del Potro to claim 14th Grand Slam title at US Open
Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3 7-6 6-3

Novak Djokovic beats Del Potro to claim 14th Grand Slam title at US Open

Novak Djokovic claimed his second Grand Slam in succession and 14th in his illustrious career with a 6-3 7-6 6-3 victory over Juan Martin Del Potro at the US Open.

Serena Williams furious after huge umpire controversy as Naomi Osaka wins US Open
Naomi Osaka v Serena Williams 6-2 6-4

Serena Williams furious after huge umpire controversy as Naomi Osaka wins US Open

Serena Williams was left furious and in tears after a huge controversy involving a coaching violation as Naomi Osaka won the US Open final 6-2 6-4.

US Open Final Live Stream: How to Watch the final of the last Grand Slam of the year
US Open Final live stream

US Open Final Live Stream: How to Watch the final of the last Grand Slam of the year

The final Grand Slam of the year takes centre stage from the 27th as the US Open begins in New York and bet365 will be Live Streaming the action to selected countries across the world.

Imperious Novak Djokovic cruises past Kei Nishikori to reach US Open final
Novak Djokovic v Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-4 6-2

Imperious Novak Djokovic cruises past Kei Nishikori to reach US Open final

Novak Djokovic breezed past Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-4 6-2 to secure his place in the final of the US Open with consummate ease.

Rafael Nadal forced to retire injured as Juan Martin Del Potro reaches US Open final
Juan Martin Del Potro v Rafael Nadal 7-6 6-2 R

Rafael Nadal forced to retire injured as Juan Martin Del Potro reaches US Open final

A distraught Rafael Nadal was forced to retire through injury after trailing 7-6 6-2 as Juan Martin Del Potro progressed through to the US Open final where he will face Novak Djokovic.