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

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.

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23/10/2018
10:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna
10:00 | ATP 500 - Basel
11:00 | WTA Finals
13:00 | Frances Tiafoe v Kei Nishikori - ATP 500 - Viena
13:30 | Caroline Wozniacki v Petra Kvitova - WTA Finals
14:30 | Cameron Norrie v John Isner - ATP 500 - Viena
15:00 | Elina Svitolina v Karolina Pliskova - WTA Finals
17:00 | Dominic Thiem v Ruben Bemelmans - ATP 500 - Viena
18:55 | AEK Athens - Bayern Munich
18:55 | Young Boys - Valencia
19:00 | Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v Sam Querrey - ATP 500 - Viena
19:00 | Roger Federer v Filip Krajinovic - ATP 500 - Basel
21:00 | Ajax - Benfica
21:00 | Hoffenheim - Olympique Lyon
21:00 | Shakhtar Donetsk - Manchester City
21:00 | Roma - CSKA Moskva
21:00 | Real Madrid - Viktoria Plzen
21:00 | Manchester United - Juventus
24/10/2018
10:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna
10:00 | ATP 500 - Basel
11:00 | WTA Finals
18:55 | Club Brugge - Monaco
18:55 | PSV - Tottenham Hotspur
21:00 | Borussia Dortmund - Atletico Madrid
21:00 | Barcelona - Inter Milan
21:00 | PSG - Napoli
21:00 | Liverpool - Crvena Zvezda
21:00 | Lokomotiv Moskva - Porto
21:00 | Galatasaray - Schalke 04
25/10/2018
10:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna
10:00 | ATP 500 - Basel
11:00 | WTA Finals
18:55 | Zurich - Bayer Leverkusen
18:55 | RB Leipzig - Celtic
18:55 | Zenit - Bordeaux
18:55 | Sporting - Arsenal
18:55 | Milan - Real Betis
21:00 | Rangers - Spartak Moskva
21:00 | Villarreal - Rapid Wien
21:00 | Sevilla - Akhisarspor
21:00 | Olympique Marseille - Lazio
21:00 | Chelsea - BATE
26/10/2018
10:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna
10:00 | ATP 500 - Basel
11:00 | WTA Finals
17:00 | Formula 1 - Mexico Grand Prix - Free Practice 1
21:00 | Formula 1 - Mexico Grand Prix - Free Practice 2
DERBY OF THE WEEK
Barcelona - Real Madrid
Derby of the week
20:45
28/10/2018
Derby of the week
W 2.00    
   W 3.20
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
12:00 21-10-2018 and are subject to change
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