Roger Federer pummels Ruben Bemelmans to move closer to top spot
Roger Federer v Ruben Bemelmans 6-1 6-2

Roger Federer pummels Ruben Bemelmans to move closer to top spot

Roger Federer moved a step closer to reclaiming the top spot in men's tennis when he beat Belgium's Ruben Bemelmans 6-1 6-2 in the Rotterdam Open on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old Swiss master needs only to reach the semi-finals at the ABN Amro tennis event to overtake Rafael Nadal at the top of the ATP rankings and become world number one for the first time since November 2012.

He captured the first set from the 116th-ranked Bemelmans in only 19 minutes, having won the first five games with a flurry of fine shot-making, picking up where he left off in Melbourne last month where he won the first grand slam of the year.

The imperious Federer had Bemelmans scampering all over the court to retrieve the ball but it always looked a hopeless task.

The Belgian pulled the score back to 3-2 in the second set but that was the last game he managed and Federer finished the job in 46 minutes.

Federer would surpass American Andre Agassi as the oldest world number one if he wins his next two matches 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 into Australian Open semis after Kei Nishikori retires with injury

Novak Djokovic into Australian Open semis after Kei Nishikori retires with injury

Novak Djokovic made it into the semi-finals of the Australian Open after Kei Nishikori was forced to withdraw injured at 6-1 4-1 down.

Lucas Pouille ends Milos Raonic's run to reach first Grand Slam semi in Melbourne

Lucas Pouille ends Milos Raonic's run to reach first Grand Slam semi in Melbourne

Lucas Pouille reached his maiden Grand Slam semi-final after beating 16th seed Milos Raonic in four sets at the Australian Open.

Serena Williams squanders four match points as Karolina Pliskova battles into semis

Serena Williams squanders four match points as Karolina Pliskova battles into semis

Serena Williams squandered four match points as Karolina Pliskova remarkably battled back from 5-1 down in the final set to reach the Australian Open semi-finals.

Naomi Osaka blows away Elina Svitolina to reach Melbourne semis

Naomi Osaka blows away Elina Svitolina to reach Melbourne semis

Naomi Osaka produced a supreme performance in her hunt for back-to-back Grand Slam titles as she reached the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time with a straight-sets victory over sixth seed Elina Svitolina.

Ruthless Rafael Nadal ends Frances Tiafoe's Australian Open fairytale

Ruthless Rafael Nadal ends Frances Tiafoe's Australian Open fairytale

Rafael Nadal overcame American youngster Frances Tiafoe in straight sets 6-3 6-4 6-2 to book his place in the last four of the Australian Open.

Petra Kvitova overcomes home favourite Ashleigh Barty in straight sets to reach semis

Petra Kvitova overcomes home favourite Ashleigh Barty in straight sets to reach semis

Petra Kvitova produced a convincing performance to reach the Australian Open semi-finals after a 6-1 6-4 victory over Ashleigh Barty.

Stefanos Tsitsipas reaches Australian Open semis with win over Roberto Bautista Agut

Stefanos Tsitsipas reaches Australian Open semis with win over Roberto Bautista Agut

Stefanos Tsitsipas continued his history-making charge at the Australian Open after a four-set victory over Roberto Bautista Agut saw the 20-year-old reach the semi-finals.

Danielle Collins fights back to reach first-ever Grand Slam semi-final

Danielle Collins fights back to reach first-ever Grand Slam semi-final

Danielle Collins fought back from a set down to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-6 7-5 6-1 to reach her first-ever Grand Slam semi-final.

Novak Djokovic sees off Daniil Medvedev to continue Australian Open charge

Novak Djokovic sees off Daniil Medvedev to continue Australian Open charge

Novak Djokovic reached his 10th Australian Open quarter-final after coming throuhg in four sets against Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-7 6-2 6-2 in a war of attrition on Monday.

RELATED NEWS

Novak Djokovic into Australian Open semis after Kei Nishikori retires with injury
Novak Djokovic vs Kei Nishikori 6-1 4-1 ret.

Novak Djokovic into Australian Open semis after Kei Nishikori retires with injury

Novak Djokovic made it into the semi-finals of the Australian Open after Kei Nishikori was forced to withdraw injured at 6-1 4-1 down.

Lucas Pouille ends Milos Raonic's run to reach first Grand Slam semi in Melbourne
Lucas Pouille vs Milos Raonic 7-6 6-3 6-7(2) 6-4

Lucas Pouille ends Milos Raonic's run to reach first Grand Slam semi in Melbourne

Lucas Pouille reached his maiden Grand Slam semi-final after beating 16th seed Milos Raonic in four sets at the Australian Open.

Serena Williams squanders four match points as Karolina Pliskova battles into semis
Karolina Pliskova vs Serena Williams 6-4 4-6 7-5

Serena Williams squanders four match points as Karolina Pliskova battles into semis

Serena Williams squandered four match points as Karolina Pliskova remarkably battled back from 5-1 down in the final set to reach the Australian Open semi-finals.

Naomi Osaka blows away Elina Svitolina to reach Melbourne semis
Naomi Osaka vs Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-1

Naomi Osaka blows away Elina Svitolina to reach Melbourne semis

Naomi Osaka produced a supreme performance in her hunt for back-to-back Grand Slam titles as she reached the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time with a straight-sets victory over sixth seed Elina Svitolina.

Ruthless Rafael Nadal ends Frances Tiafoe's Australian Open fairytale
Rafael Nadal vs Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Ruthless Rafael Nadal ends Frances Tiafoe's Australian Open fairytale

Rafael Nadal overcame American youngster Frances Tiafoe in straight sets 6-3 6-4 6-2 to book his place in the last four of the Australian Open.

Petra Kvitova overcomes home favourite Ashleigh Barty in straight sets to reach semis
Petra Kvitova vs Ashleigh Barty 6-1 6-4

Petra Kvitova overcomes home favourite Ashleigh Barty in straight sets to reach semis

Petra Kvitova produced a convincing performance to reach the Australian Open semi-finals after a 6-1 6-4 victory over Ashleigh Barty.

Stefanos Tsitsipas reaches Australian Open semis with win over Roberto Bautista Agut
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2)

Stefanos Tsitsipas reaches Australian Open semis with win over Roberto Bautista Agut

Stefanos Tsitsipas continued his history-making charge at the Australian Open after a four-set victory over Roberto Bautista Agut saw the 20-year-old reach the semi-finals.

Danielle Collins fights back to reach first-ever Grand Slam semi-final
Danielle Collins vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-6 7-5 6-1

Danielle Collins fights back to reach first-ever Grand Slam semi-final

Danielle Collins fought back from a set down to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-6 7-5 6-1 to reach her first-ever Grand Slam semi-final.

Novak Djokovic sees off Daniil Medvedev to continue Australian Open charge
Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-7 6-2 6-2

Novak Djokovic sees off Daniil Medvedev to continue Australian Open charge

Novak Djokovic reached his 10th Australian Open quarter-final after coming throuhg in four sets against Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-7 6-2 6-2 in a war of attrition on Monday.