Roger Federer added yet another feather to his already decorated cap when he guaranteed becoming the oldest ATP world No 1 by beating Dutchman Robin Haase 4-6 6-1 6-1 to reach the semifinals in Rotterdam on Friday.
The Swiss maestro, who won a staggering 20th grand slam title in Melbourne this month, reclaims the No 1 for the first time since November 2012 at the age of 36 years and 195 days.
Needing to reach the semi-final to overtake great rival Rafael Nadal on the rankings, Federer showed some early nerves in his quarterfinal clash at the Ahoy Arena, dropping serve in the ninth game on his way to conceding the first set.
But as he’s done all through his career, the elegant Swiss moved through the gears to take a tiring Haase apart in the next two sets.
A demoralised Haase double-faulted on match point and after an initially restrained celebration Federer sat on his chair and looked close to tears as he took in his latest feat.
— ATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) February 16, 2018
Federer, whose glittering career has re-ignited since taking six months off in 2016, has won three of the last five grand slams having gone five years without one, and he surpasses American Andre Agassi who was the previous oldest man to top the rankings at 33 in 2003.
Next up for the Swiss maestro in the last four is Italian Andrea Seppi or young Russian Daniil Medvedev as he closes in on a 97th career title.