(February 18, 2018) Roger Federer won his 97th career title on Sunday 6-2, 6-2 over second seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria to win the Rotterdam tournament. Top seed Federer took a wildcard into the event. Reaching the semifinals guaranteed him a return to the No.1 ranking. This is his third Rotterdam title, a record for the event.
“It’s definitely one of those weeks I will never forget in my life,” said the Swiss. “It’s unbelievable to get my 97th title and get back to World No. 1. It’s very special. ”
Federer is behind the all-time men’s leader, Jimmy Connors at 109 tournament titles.
“I was expecting it to be tough today,” said the 20-time major winner. “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.”
“It was a great week, but I just came up short today,” Dimitrov said. “Anything can happen, but all credit to Roger. He deserves to win the tournament and played unbelievable tennis the whole week. He raised the bar. I just want to take the positives from the week. My goal was to come out here and play well with each match, but I just came up short today. You do the best you can and play with whatever you have. I was following my game to the capacity I could and that was the result.”
Federer returns to No. 1 on Monday for the first time since November 2012.
In the doubles final, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut ended Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic’s unbeaten start to the season (17-0), claiming their 11th team title.
“Winning for the first time in Rotterdam with Pierre is something great,” said Mahut. “We are pretty happy about the week, we played so many good teams, especially finally beating the undefeated team. It is something special in the final.