Title number 97 for the GOAT as he backed up his return to number one in the rankings with a third Rotterdam Open title after defeating Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in just 55 minutes.
The Swiss now holds the record for individual Rotterdam titles and has guaranteed himself four weeks in top spot thanks to bagging 500 points against a pasty looking and below part Dimitrov who after a promising start faded miserably as Federer took full control.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Dimitrov was out the blocks at light speed with a love hold and he had the better of the opening exchanges but by game five Roger had reeled him in, breaking to 30 for a 3-2 lead and then breaking again for a 5-2 lead. He served out the set to love to take it 6-2.
Into set two and with Dimitrov now needing to win from behind he began to overplay firing a backhand long at 30 all to give Federer a break point. The Bulgarian saved it with a sweet transition to the net but returned to the baseline with a grimace on his face. Roger then won the next two points to break for 1-0 and consolidated for 2-0.
At the changeover at 1-2, Dumusois questioned Dimitrov's effort who replied that he definitely wasn't tanking. Roger then held for 3-1 and was able to get the insurance break for 4-1 thanks to a double fault and coasted to the title to take it 6-2 in the second.
|Roger Federer||Grigor Dimitrov|
|1st Serve||62% (24/39)||59% (29/49)|
|1st Serve Points Won||83% (20/24)||62% (18/29)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||80% (12/15)||45% (9/20)|
|Break Points Saved||0% (0/0)||50% (4/8)|
|Service Games Played||8||8|
|1st Serve Return Points Won||38% (11/29)||17% (4/24)|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won||55% (11/20)||20% (3/15)|
|Break Points Converted||50% (4/8)||0% (0/0)|
|Return Games Played||8||8|
|Service Points Won||82% (32/39)||55% (27/49)|
|Return Points Won||45% (22/49)||18% (7/39)|
|Net Points Won||67% (6/9)||80% (4/5)|
|Total Points Won||61% (54/88)||39% (34/88)|
Thoughts on the Match
It's definitely one of those weeks I will never forget in my life. It's unbelievable to get my 97th title and get back to World No. 1. It's very special. I was expecting it to be tough today. Grigor is a great player and a great athlete and he's been playing super well in recent months. I thought that this wasn't going to be the result, but he looked to be struggling a bit and I never looked back. I was able to execute my tennis the way I wanted to. I'm very happy.
A disappointing final here as after a promising opening few games from Dimitrov, Roger seemed to reel him in and the Bulgarian's level dropped off a cliff. I'm not sure if he was injured or just feeling under the weather (he certainly looked quite pasty) but for whatever reason, he wasn't able to play at 100% and that's not going to get it done against RF20.
From Fed's side I thought he did what he needed to do, he was very solid behind his serve and showed his class from the baseline to really take control of things when required. Even if Dimitrov was struggling Fed didn't let that bother him and he kept on moving forward. Never giving Grigor a sniff at finding a way back into the match or to feel slightly better about what was happening on the court.
So a great week in Rotterdam with 100% success rate as both goals were completed: get back to number 1 and take down the title. Perhaps it wasn't the best tournament overall with a couple of withdrawals, Goffin taking one in the eye and a few players falling ill but the GOAT took the wildcard and took full advantage. He started in style against Bemelmans, ground out the wins in the middle rounds and then finished with a flurry today. Job done!
Roger said he will decide in the next day or two about Dubai. Will he play? I say unlikely but who knows. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.