Roger Federer celebrated his return to the top of the world rankings by winning the Rotterdam Open on Sunday, his 97th career title, and declared it “one of the best weeks of my life”.
Federer, the record 20-time Grand Slam winner, will officially reclaim the No1 ranking he last held in October 2012 when the new ATP rankings are published today.
The 36-year-old, the oldest No1 in history, thrashed ailing Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in a one-sided final.
In the Open era, only the American Jimmy Connors has won more titles, with 109.
“What a fantastic week,” top seed Federer said. “The goal at start of week was to make it to the semifinals.
“This is absolutely amazing, I’m really pleased. It’s unbelievable to be No1 again after all these [six] years – this is one of the best weeks of my life.”
He has played two tournaments this year and won both – the other being January’s Australian Open which he won for the sixth time.
“I saved the best for last,” added Federer, before jetting home to his family. “I had a great first match and a great last match.
“In between it was a battle. It was nerve-racking getting back to No1. But I was able to manage my nerves and the expectations. I was able to handle that pressure – today I played great from the beginning.”
Federer is three years older than American Andre Agassi was when previously holding the record for oldest No1 back in 2003.
As for chasing down Connors’s record of 109 titles, Federer said his first objective was to get to 100.
“Ninety-seven is not 100 yet. You’ve got to stay healthy if you want to get close to finals. Things can evaporate quickly,” Federer warned.
Sunday was Federer’s third title in Rotterdam following successes in 2005 and 2012, and he now stands 12-0 for the season.