No spam ever. Unsubscribe in one click. By submitting your email address, you indicate your consent to receiving email marketing messages from us.

Roger Federer vs Grigor Dimitrov ATP Rotterdam tennis live: Federer gunning for 97th career title and seventh straight win over Dimitrov

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 17 Feb 2018
  • Roger Federer vs Grigor Dimitrov is live from Rotterdam on Sunday at 3.30pm local time (2.30pm GMT)
  • Federer has won all six of their previous encounters
Roger Federer (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Roger Federer targets a seventh consecutive victory over Grigor Dimitrov and a third ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament title in Rotterdam when the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds clash in Sunday’s final.





World No. 1 in-waiting Roger Federer looks to complete a historic tournament in Rotterdam by claiming the ATP 500 silverware on Sunday against World No. 5 Grigor Dimitrov. It’s of course been one of the most memorable weeks of Federer’s glittering career, with the Swiss legend becoming the oldest World No. 1 in history following his quarter-final win over Robin Haase, shattering the previous record held by Andre Agassi by more than three years. Gunning for his 12th straight win after successfully defending his Australian Open title last month, Federer will start as the big favourite against Dimitrov, with the Bulgarian taking just two sets out of 17 played in their previous six meetings. Federer and Dimitrov are scheduled on court at 3.30pm local time on Sunday (2.30pm GMT).

After first capturing the Rotterdam title all the way back in 2005 with a victory over current coach Ivan Ljubicic in the final and adding a second crown to the trophy cabinet with a triumph over Juan Martin del Potro in 2012, Federer is searching for his third ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament trophy following an already-historic week. Just over 12 months ago it seemed unthinkable that Federer could regain the No. 1 ranking after returning from his first serious surgery and missing more than half the 2016 season as he returned to action in January last year ranked outside the top 15.

However, Federer put together a quite stunning resurgence to win the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Halle, Wimbledon, Shanghai and Basel as he finished 2017 at World No. 2, behind only great rival Rafael Nadal. With most of his major rivals either injured or coming back from a long-term injury themselves - see Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka - Federer has continued his sensational form into 2018, winning all four Hopman Cup matches he played for Switzerland as he led his nation to victory, while he sailed into the Australian Open final without dropping a set before taking out Marin Cilic in five to secure his 20th Grand Slam title.

Deciding to take a late wildcard into Rotterdam in a bid to snatch the No. 1 ranking, which of course he’s now accomplished, Federer has been pushed pretty hard after his dominant 6-1 6-2 opening round win over Ruben Bemelmans, overcoming fellow veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(8) 7-5 and Robin Haase 4-6 6-1 6-1 before booking his spot in the final with a 6-3 7-6(6) triumph over lucky loser Andreas Seppi in Saturday’s semi-finals.


Federer’s win over Seppi was his 62nd victory in 67 matches since returning from his knee injury at the start of 2017. The 37-year-old will be gunning for his 97th career title against Dimitrov, who was just 12 years old when the Swiss first hit the No. 1 ranking in 2004.

"He is in great form," Federer said of Dimitrov. "He had a wonderful season last year. He started solid again this year, so I think he is fresh, ready and eager to go. I enjoy playing against Grigor... I am going to have to try to play aggressive, to play my game and then hope for the best."

Grigor Dimitrov (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Dimitrov has been solid but arguably unspectacular to begin 2018, winning 10 of 12 matches and reaching the Brisbane semi-finals and the Australian Open quarter-finals - along with now making the final in Rotterdam - but I think it’s fair to say he hasn’t hit the sort of level he did at the start and end of 2017 as he picked up the Brisbane title, made the Australian Open semi-finals, captured his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati and the biggest title of his career at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals in London, with that triumph propelling the Bulgarian to his highest ranking of No. 3.

A defeat to Nick Kyrgios in the Brisbane semis and a loss to Kyle Edmund in the Australian Open quarters have seen Dimitrov fall back to No. 5, but courtesy of his run to the Rotterdam final, he will be moving back up to No. 4 on Monday, leapfrogging Alexander Zverev, who lost to Seppi in the second round in Rotterdam.

Dimitrov’s best performance of the season came in the fourth round of the Australian Open as he conquered Kyrgios in four sets, but he couldn’t maintain that level as he suffered an extremely disappointing loss to Edmund in his next match, but the 26-year-old has been very solid this week in Rotterdam, advancing to the final without dropping a set in victories over Yuichi Sugita, Filip Krajinovic, Andrey Rublev and David Goffin. Dimitrov booked his place in the final after Goffin retired due to a freak eye accident while trailing 3-6 1-0 in Saturday’s semi-finals.

”We had such a great battle,” Dimitrov said. “Playing David always excites me and I always like to compete against him… just very unfortunate today.”

Dimitrov is searching for his first ATP 500 title since capturing the Acapulco crown in 2014 - however he has the biggest test in all of tennis in front of him: beating Federer in a final. Unfairly branded as ‘Baby Fed’ when he first burst onto the scene, Dimitrov hasn’t been able to make any headway in his rivalry with Federer so far, losing all six matches they’ve played and taking just two sets in that period. Federer just does everything that little bit better than Dimitrov, and although he hasn’t been playing his very best tennis so far in Rotterdam, you’d expect him to lift for the final and extend his record over Dimitrov to 7-0 and collect his third Rotterdam title.


Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

Roger Federer vs Grigor Dimitrov ATP Rotterdam tennis live: Federer gunning for 97th career title and seventh straight win over Dimitrov

Roger Federer targets a seventh consecutive victory over Grigor Dimitrov and a third ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament title in Rotterdam when the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds clash in Sunday’s final.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages