Federer closes in on world number one ranking
Roger Federer v Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(8) 7-5

Federer closes in on world number one ranking

Roger Federer is one win from becoming the oldest world number one in ATP Tour history after beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(8) 7-5 in the last 16 of the Rotterdam Open on Thursday.

The 36-year-old needs to reach the semi-finals to overtake Rafael Nadal at the top of the rankings and reclaim the world number one ranking for the first time since November 2012.

Kohlschreiber, 34, had not beaten Federer in 12 attempts but on his own service game proved a tough opponent for the Swiss, pushing him all the way to a first set tiebreak.

The German even had two set points but could not convert them as Federer rallied and placed a forehand perfectly beyond Kohlschreiber to take the lead in the match after 54 minutes.

The second set followed a similar pattern but with Kohlschreiber, ranked 36 in the world, more attuned to Federer's serve and improving his return rate.

He still had to save four break points without getting close himself to threatening the Australian Open champion's serve.

Kohlschreiber's resistance was finally breached in the 11th game as 20-times grand slam winner Federer overpowered his opponent and went on to comfortably serve out the set.

Federer would surpass American Andre Agassi as the oldest world number one if he wins his next match in Rotterdam and he would also set another record of the longest gap (five years and 106 days) between periods as number one.

He already holds the record for most weeks spent at number one, having topped the rankings for a combined 302 weeks.

Related news

Novak Djokovic completes Masters set with victory over Roger Federer in Cincinnati

Novak Djokovic completes Masters set with victory over Roger Federer in Cincinnati

Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to lift the Cincinnati Masts and thereby complete the set of nine Masters, the first player to do.

Kiki Bertens stuns world number one Simona Halep for Cincinnati title

Kiki Bertens stuns world number one Simona Halep for Cincinnati title

Dutch surprise Kiki Bertens shocked a fatigued world number one Simona Halep 2-6 7-6(6) 6-2 to win her first hard court final at the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday.

Djokovic closing in on Golden Masters - but Federer awaits in Cincinnati final

Djokovic closing in on Golden Masters - but Federer awaits in Cincinnati final

Novak Djokovic has advanced to his sixth Western & Southern Open final to keep alive his hopes of completing the Golden Masters.

Halep and Bertens to battle for Western and Southern Open crown after world's best sees off Sabalenka

Halep and Bertens to battle for Western and Southern Open crown after world's best sees off Sabalenka

World number one Simona Halep swept into the final of Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati with a 6-3 6-4 win over Aryna Sabalenka.

Lightning assists Roger Federer's double win day

Lightning assists Roger Federer's double win day

Roger Federer completed a frantic Friday with a three-set win over Stan Wawrinka in the Cincinnati Open quarter-finals - although he partly had the elements to thank after winning his second match in one day.

Djokovic sees off Raonic to remain on track for Golden Masters

Djokovic sees off Raonic to remain on track for Golden Masters

Novak Djokovic kept his bid to complete the Golden Masters on track by ousting Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Halep battles past Tsurenko to set up Sabalenka semi

Halep battles past Tsurenko to set up Sabalenka semi

World number one Simona Halep has progressed to the semi-final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati after a hard-fought victory over Lesia Tsurenko.

Roger Federer sets up Stanislas Wawrinka quarter-final in Cincinnati

Roger Federer sets up Stanislas Wawrinka quarter-final in Cincinnati

World number two Roger Federer, bidding for his eighth Cincinnati Masters title, outlasted Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-1 7-6(6) in the third round on Friday.

Simona Halep overcomes Ashleigh Barty to move into quarter-finals

Simona Halep overcomes Ashleigh Barty to move into quarter-finals

World number one Simona Halep began a busy day by beating Australia's Ashleigh Barty 7-5 6-4 in the Cincinnati Masters third round on Friday.

RELATED NEWS

Novak Djokovic completes Masters set with victory over Roger Federer in Cincinnati
Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4

Novak Djokovic completes Masters set with victory over Roger Federer in Cincinnati

Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to lift the Cincinnati Masts and thereby complete the set of nine Masters, the first player to do.

Kiki Bertens stuns world number one Simona Halep for Cincinnati title
Kiki Bertens v Simona Halep 2-6 7-6(6) 6-2

Kiki Bertens stuns world number one Simona Halep for Cincinnati title

Dutch surprise Kiki Bertens shocked a fatigued world number one Simona Halep 2-6 7-6(6) 6-2 to win her first hard court final at the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday.

Djokovic closing in on Golden Masters - but Federer awaits in Cincinnati final
Novak Djokovic v Marin Cilic 6-4 3-6 6-3

Djokovic closing in on Golden Masters - but Federer awaits in Cincinnati final

Novak Djokovic has advanced to his sixth Western & Southern Open final to keep alive his hopes of completing the Golden Masters.

Halep and Bertens to battle for Western and Southern Open crown after world's best sees off Sabalenka
Simona Halep v Aryna Sabalenka 6-3 6-4

Halep and Bertens to battle for Western and Southern Open crown after world's best sees off Sabalenka

World number one Simona Halep swept into the final of Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati with a 6-3 6-4 win over Aryna Sabalenka.

Lightning assists Roger Federer's double win day
Roger Federer v Stan Wawrinka 6-7(2) 7-6(6) 6-2

Lightning assists Roger Federer's double win day

Roger Federer completed a frantic Friday with a three-set win over Stan Wawrinka in the Cincinnati Open quarter-finals - although he partly had the elements to thank after winning his second match in one day.

Djokovic sees off Raonic to remain on track for Golden Masters
Novak Djokovic v Milos Raonic 7-5 4-6 6-3

Djokovic sees off Raonic to remain on track for Golden Masters

Novak Djokovic kept his bid to complete the Golden Masters on track by ousting Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Halep battles past Tsurenko to set up Sabalenka semi
Simona Halep v Lesia Tsurenko 6-4 6-1

Halep battles past Tsurenko to set up Sabalenka semi

World number one Simona Halep has progressed to the semi-final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati after a hard-fought victory over Lesia Tsurenko.

Roger Federer sets up Stanislas Wawrinka quarter-final in Cincinnati
Roger Federer v Leonardo Mayer 6-1 7-6(6)

Roger Federer sets up Stanislas Wawrinka quarter-final in Cincinnati

World number two Roger Federer, bidding for his eighth Cincinnati Masters title, outlasted Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-1 7-6(6) in the third round on Friday.

Simona Halep overcomes Ashleigh Barty to move into quarter-finals
Simona Halep v Ashleigh Barty 7-5 6-4

Simona Halep overcomes Ashleigh Barty to move into quarter-finals

World number one Simona Halep began a busy day by beating Australia's Ashleigh Barty 7-5 6-4 in the Cincinnati Masters third round on Friday.