ATP Rotterdam: Roger Federer outsmarts Grigor Dimitrov to win 97th career title

Roger Federer’s remarkable week continued as he saw off Grigor Dimitrov, 6-2, 6-2, to claim the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

The Swiss, who will be crowned the new world number one on Monday, blitzed the Bulgarian off the court, needing less than an hour to claim his second title of 2018 and the 97th of his glittering career.

Federer dropped only one week during the week - to Robin Haase in the quarterfinals - and he will head to Indian Wells peering down on his fellow peers from atop the rankings for the first time since 2012.

'A week I won't forget'

“It’s definitely one of those weeks I will never forget in my life,” said Federer. “It’s unbelievable to get my 97th title and get back to world number one.”

“It’s very special, I was expecting it to be tough today as Grigor is a great player and a great athlete and he’s been playing super well in recent months.”

Dimitrov was battling fitness issues despite only playing a set in his semifinal win over David Goffin on Saturday and was questioned by the umpire whether he was making a full effort.

“I thought that this wasn’t going to be the result, but he looked to be struggling a bit and I never looked back,” he added.

“I was able to execute my tennis the way I wanted to. I’m very happy.”

Federer is yet to confirm whether he intends to play a full clay court schedule (Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Federer is yet to confirm whether he intends to play a full clay court schedule (Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac)

One-way traffic

Dimitrov started fast as he dropped only one point on serve through his opening two service games, but Federer took control from that point.

He broke the Bulgarian’s resolve in the fifth game of the set, bludgeoning forehands with remarkable intent, before securing the cushion of a double break for a 5-2 lead.

The opening stanza was served out within 26 minutes as Dimitrov’s unforced error total stood at 13.

The Bulgarian’s serve was immediately threatened in the second set as Federer roared back from a 30-0 deficit to break.

A 3-0 advantage looked to be on the cards as the pair traded blows at deuce but Dimitrov stood tall to restore a modicum of respect. Federer continued to ground his opponent down and he was broken for the fourth time in the afternoon for a 4-1.

Not long later Federer was on the cusp of another memorable triumph. Losing only three points on serve in the second set he closed it out in emphatic style.