ABN AMRO World Tennis TournamentATP 500Roger Federer

Federer Sees Off Haase in Rotterdam to Regain World Number One Spot

He's done it 🙂 Roger Federer has sealed his return to No. 1 in ATP Rankings after seeing off Flying Dutchman Robin Haase 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 in 78 minutes to move into the semi-finals at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament.

The Swiss will overtake long-time rival Rafael Nadal when the rankings update on Monday and with it will secure another three records to add to an already extensive list; not only will he be the oldest player to hold world number one at 36 years old, he will also hold the record for biggest gap between first achieving number one (February 2004) and recapturing it and have the longest period between stints at number one (September 2012 – February 2018). Not bad!

Quick Match Recap

Fed Haase Rotterdam

Haase won the toss and elected to receive. Federer kicked things off with a hold to 15 and then created three break points on the Haase serve but couldn't convert. Roger then held for 2-1 and neither player won more than two points on the return up until 4-4 where Haase broke Roger to 15 and served out the set 6-4 to take a surprise lead.

With Haase serving well and Roger looking hesitant it was important the Swiss didn't let the match get away from him and he made the perfect start to set two, breaking with a crisp volley to lead 2-0. That was quickly 4-1 and with Haase looking somewhat laboured Roger broke again to lead 5-1 and he served out the set for the loss of just 9 points.

Into the third and momentum on Fed's side, he took full control, breaking in game one with a genius flicked backhand pass before securing the double break for 3-0 as Haase continued to struggle with his movement (Fed said in the on-court interview/ceremony Haase had been ill all week). With two breaks in the bag, the score was soon 5-1 and all Haase could do was try to hit his way out of trouble but he faltered again, double faulting at 30-40 to put Fed through to the semi-finals and regain the number 1 ranking.

Match Stats

Roger Federer Robin Haase
Aces 6 9
Double Faults 1 2
1st Serve 57% (35/61) 66% (46/70)
1st Serve Points Won 74% (26/35) 61% (28/46)
2nd Serve Points Won 73% (19/26) 38% (9/24)
Break Points Saved 0% (0/1) 38% (3/8)
Service Games Played 12 12
1st Serve Return Points Won 39% (18/46) 26% (9/35)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 63% (15/24) 27% (7/26)
Break Points Converted 63% (5/8) 100% (1/1)
Return Games Played 12 12
Service Points Won 74% (45/61) 53% (37/70)
Return Points Won 47% (33/70) 26% (16/61)
Total Points Won 60% (78/131) 40% (53/131)
SABR 0 0

*No winners and unforced error stats unfortunately, if anyone has them please send.


Thoughts on the Match

Fed Back to Number 1

I think reaching No. 1 is one of, if not the ultimate achievement in our sport. So sometimes at the beginning you just all of a sudden get there just because you’re playing so well. Later you sometimes try to fight it back and you wrestle it back from somebody else who deserved to be there and when you’re older you know you feel like you feel like you have to put maybe sometimes double the work in so maybe this one maybe means the most to me throughout my career, getting to No. 1 and enjoying it right here at 36, almost 37 years old, is an absolute dream come true, I can’t believe it.

A good win here for Fed who had to dig in again against a player who put in a solid performance and clearly wanted to upset the apple cart that had been prepped backstage for an on-court ceremony should Fed regain the Number 1 ranking.

The first set was somewhat similar to yesterday's encounter against Kohlschreiber with Fed playing a little hesitantly. Only this time Haase took his chances and won the set thanks to some big serving and some old school indoor tennis.

The loss of the opener seemed to calm Roger down though and rather than panic he upped his intensity to break early. Once he had the lead he was able to relax and things started to click into place. Haase, on the other hand, couldn't keep his level from the first set and he began to tire as Roger took full control making just one error in set two and then running away with the third set in similar style as Haase's shoulders dropped and his only option was to end up overplaying from the baseline.

So aside from making the semifinals, the big news is Fed is back to number one in the world. From my point of view, I don't get too excited about these things as I take tournament wins all day long over rankings but it really is quite the achievement at 36 and just testament to the hard yards he's put in over the years combined with a real love for the game that allows him to still play at the highest level.

The cooler part for me is that it's more of an accolade for his team and coaches past and present too rather than just himself. Winning titles is very much all about what Roger can deliver on the day, but being able to bring that solid base level of tennis week in week out to get to the finals (and as a result rack up the points to even stand a chance of  getting to Number 1) needs that balance behind the scenes and reaching the top of the rankings is something they've all had a hand in from Carter through to Ljubicic and of course Luthi, Mirka, Paganini along with the Original RF + Lynette et al.

Predictions vs. Seppi/Medvedev

Coming soon. Hopefully, today's achievement is not going to affect Fed psychologically for tomorrow's match if he comes out flat having spent quite a bit of emotional energy during the cardboard trophy number one presentation.

As always let me know your thoughts on the match and Fed recapturing the top ranking in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. Thanks for the quick post again. Roger seems so confident right now overall. You really do wonder what the limits are. It is almost like the old days where the opponent does not feel like he has a very good chance of winning. That certainly helps Roger to get through those days where he might be a bit off. It would be nice to see him lift the metal trophy on Sunday. Let’s see.

      1. I was not a great supporter of this particular venture, but it clearly meant a great deal to him. I have to admit that despite the physical pain of these last days, it gave me a reason to cheer amid all the doom and gloom. I actually managed to get downstairs to watch the match on my own, to watch this wonderful piece of history. The big bonus was he appeared healthy and believe you me that’s what counts the most, after this landmark match. Though for me his greatness was never in question regardless. He is peRFection.❤️✅

  2. With these stats anyone would think I don’t appreciate the tennis too but I do. However his stats just amaze me.
    Is 14 your second lucky number Roger?
    Your 14th grand slam (French Open) not only equalled the record, it gave you your career grand slam.
    It’s now 14 years since you were first at the top.
    Number 1 for the 4th time – 1 & 4
    Haase entered the tournament with 1175 points, adds up to 14 hey?
    You entered this match with 1142 match wins. Plus those numbers added gives your good old lucky number 8.
    I ended with your match wins because I agree with Jonathan – give me tournament wins over ranking any day. Win tomorrow please Roger to give you more than a week at number 1!

  3. A gem for Numero Uno :
    “All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither,
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
    From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
    A light from the shadows shall spring ;
    Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
    The crownless again shall be king”.

    Tolkien – English writer

  4. I was partially drunk whiile watching the match.

    Now I am still drunkin”
    And it hasn’t yet sunkin
    That our man is No 1
    And I am having fun

    Two Robins will there be in Fed’s life
    One Soderling & the other Haase
    Both fortunately did not cause any strife
    And so now Mr. Nadal is truly passe

    Pardon me for the drunken rhyme
    But there always comes a time
    When we have to lift our glass
    To what is known as timeless class

    Back to my drinking

  5. Good “Thoughts on the Match” Jonathan. I was not worried before about him reaching number 1 but once he had declared that is what he wanted to do in Rotterdam it would have been awful if he had failed. He gave us hysterics and heart attacks (had to leave the room several times and watch the scores on tennisnow which is actually several points ahead of tennistv) but he made up for it in the second two sets. What a great person he is. Here’s hoping he can relax, enjoy tennis and win the trophy. Chum jetze.

  6. Wow, this is absolutely incredible! 🙂 🙂 🙂 . The records kept tumbling. Just like 20 GS, this one will be there for a long long long time!
    After the match, Roger said: Oh my God.
    God said: are you calling yourself or me?
    Roger replied: I don’t want to be God.
    God replied: you are God to your tennis fans 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. I love Roger. But I bet he knows he got what he got from God and not the other way around. And he has stewarded it well. Don’t wanna jinx him! “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” ?

      Speaking of humble – I love what Rog said this week about the GOAT question:
      ‘”I don’t wake up thinking that I am the best player in the world, I don’t feel comfortable with it, and it’s not true either, I am still playing and we will never know who will come after me,” Tennis World USA report him saying.’

      Another reason he is the GOAT.
      and the Humblerer.

    2. He is right though records are meant to be broken though, so even though it seems impossible now, not unlikely someone better comes along in a few years…

  7. Well, another day, another match, another win, another crate of records came crumbling down, another bucket of dazzled comments posted on youtube, another day of anticipation for the next match. Business as usual, but oh, what a joyful business.

  8. Yay! No 1 old man!
    Good fast write up J, quick out of the blocks, like Haase! But unlike you, Haase cldnt sustain his level, (as always) and Rog reclimbed that ladder to no 1 spot again! Monumental effort and as you say, just great for the team! Past and present! So proud, and so privileged to witness his incredible career. Happy Fed, Happy fans! Krajicek was hilarious, positively orgasmic in his praise and wtf was that cardboard no 1 box? ??
    Let’s go on and lift that trophy Plse. Don’t want a let down to Seppi…. Allez!
    Very transparent in press, wants 100 titles! To defend Sunshine Double….
    Well I want 110 titles, Wimbledon and another USO but hey, for now no 1 is cool ??
    Congrats Rog ??

  9. Some great points on both sides. If it’s true Robin was not well, he put up an even more fabulous first set. Some very nice net play, made Roger run – good highlight points for both guys, very enjoyable watching, actual tennis. Shame he had to give away the last point.

    As others have said, hopefully he’s keeping something in the tank for tomorrow & possibly Sunday. I remember when he won Brisbane & it coincided with his 1000th match win, he was just totally emotionally wrung out after that & didn’t have a good AO.

  10. Thanks for the speedy recap of this historic moment, Jonathan. So happy to be exist as same time as the incredible man. 20 slams, No.1…His story becomes history. Isn’t it time the game of tennis to change its name to Feddis or something?
    I am still drinking…

  11. Well,what can you say that hasn’t already been said.Just wonderful and full credit to Robin Hasse for a great effort and chivalrous defeat.
    As far as tomorrow is concerned I don’t really care now who wins this tournament,because somewhere a man in pink
    shorts is well fed up.(rather a nice unintended pun).
    So Seppi.So glad he beat that creepy looking Russian guy.Cant watch the match but Fed will win.
    Great night for Fed fans everywhere.?

  12. Just wonderful. I always thought of the No1 ranking being very personal to the player, but yes I see now
    how important it is for ‘the team’. Hope he can keep his winning streak going as another tournament win
    would be fantastic. so Roger keep up the good work…you too Jonathan x

  13. Yes, he made it again! Just wondeRFul! He is so close to peRFection but he is only human and that’s what’s best in him and what I admire most of all. So human.
    RF forever! Salud maestro!
    Bravo Roger!
    and thank you Jonathan for being there !

  14. Robin: Roger no one called out
    Roger: its out.. 🙂

    haha. I laugh so hard about that.. 🙂

    He rarely break rackets on court so he decided to break tennis records instead. How insanely good this man..

    So its Seppi for semis.. Im concerned about the semis coz Seppi was a good player. I hope Rog didn’t lower his guard. and also I hope it lessen the pressure since he was no. 1 right now… 🙂
    Well cheer for us Fed fans! and give him TULIPS now! 🙂

  15. Just happy Roger is back to No1, well deserved. Personally I find the ceremony a bit early, it would have been better presentation was done when Roger won the tourney. Organisers are a bit over eager with the celebration. Rogaaa – hope you can win 2 more matches…..Cmon you can you do it.

  16. This record, oldest to No.1 is never going to be broken. I can see someone win a slam or two at that age, but to get to number one? No way.

  17. I watched live up until 3-4 in the first and then I had to work. Watched the rest some 6 hours later and got nervous to see that he lost the first, but I knew he had won as soon as I saw him get the break at 0-1 in the 2nd.

    What an amazing icing on the cake to what has been a ridiculous 13 months. I guess he loses the #1 ranking if he doesn’t play Dubai?

  18. Everything that Roger does at this age is just amazing. I doubt that we will ever see another player like him again. I hope he can continue playing in good health for many more years to come. And winning 🙂 Get 97 on Sunday.

  19. Thanks for the poetry Murli and FBF. I think the cardboard box was designed by Dutch school children. Pretty tacky but what the hell.
    When we think about it. Thirteen months ago Roger was a great unknown. Ranked #17 going into AO 2017. Now his record is
    63-5. He won 3 of the last 5 GS’s with missing one and not fit for the other. We fedfans are spoiled rotten.
    He chokes up when he mentions his family…aaaah. And Severin flew in to celebrate!

  20. Hi all, still celebrating or waking up hungover? Another match today but here is a great message from Paul Annacone on his facebook.

    “Sports can be such an amazing escape from life’s harsh realities. This week we’ve seen more tragedy , more division , more polarization of our own community — life is harsh and complicated .
    I embrace and appreciate the joy and simplicity of competition ; of athletes putting themselves on the line for the challenge of competing , for the joy of their sport and for the possibility of making their dreams come true…
    On Monday at 36 years of age Roger Federer will once again be ranked number one in the world – the oldest man in the open era to hold the number one ranking.
    He continues to wrestle Father Time to a standstill . Roger’s accomplishments are unparalleled but what is more inspirational is the process he has undertaken to pursue his dreams. Once those dreams became goals and many of those goals became reality his world changed everywhere except internally as a person .
    His humility , class, grace and sense of what is truly important in life resonate today . So while tennis and sports are a welcomed escape from life’s harsh realities – it is not the athletic prowess of people like Roger Federer that transcend history it is the delivery of their talents and their message that set the tone that can cross boundaries and help us all deal with our world …. keep writing new chapters Roger we will sit and enjoy in awe.”

  21. My most recent verse, to celebrate Roger…
    Thank you for so many emotions, Sir.
    What a peRFect start of the year.

    Your racquet is the brush of a painter
    You paint the court and are always better
    Like Vermeer, you adorn life with your colour
    You are Roger, the one and only Federer…
    And we will praise you forever.

  22. I wanted to write a post yesterday but forgot all about it –

    I thought the Kohli match was great stuff. Really tight, impressive tennis.

    This one I think was a bit scrappier but he stepped it up and even when he went a set down I wasn’t too worried. He managed to get it back under control pretty quickly.

    One thing I like is how he’s beaten 2 of the older guard so to speak on the way to doing this, both who gave him a stern test all told. Kinda fitting to add yet another dimension to his career by beating the kind of guys he has consistently beaten throughout. I was surprised that this was only the 3rd time he’s beaten Haase tbh.

    Anyways, fantastic achievement. I’d like him to finish off the week winning this title here more I think but it’s still massive at 36 to have won so consistently he’s #1 without having played the clay season last year. Doesn’t really matter how long he keeps it either, just getting back there is incredible.

  23. Federer was asked by another reporter who would win a match if the guy who first made it No. 1 at age 22 played against the guy who now is again No. 1 at 36+.

    He laughed.

    And then he answered that the Federer of today would come out on top.

    ”I just feel like tennis has gotten faster, you know? We have less time. We can hit harder. I’ve done it for a longer period of time now, to hit through the ball off both wings harder. I serve more consistently well,” Federer said. ”So I feel like this guy would beat the other guy right now. That’s who I pick.”

    1. Ha ha this topic came up in discussion a week ago, I guess Federer gave his opinion 🙂

      Quite nice words from Amacone, thank you for posting that.

  24. Ha ha is right. This is a comparison of 22 yo Fed vs today. Wasn’t Annacone Roger’s coach in 2012?
    I remember people being shocked that Roger was saying he would play 2012 Olympics and thought he would be too old by then!
    Fed heard the R word for years. Now people are saying, please don’t …not yet.

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