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POST TIME: 19 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Olympics fan Federer on top of the world
AFP

Olympics fan Federer on top of the world

AFP, ROTTERDAM: Roger Federer celebrated becoming the oldest man to reach the world number one ranking by making the Rotterdam Open final on Saturday with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) victory over Italy's Andreas Seppi despite losing sleep watching early-morning coverage of the Winter Olympics.

The 36-year-old Federer racked up his 14th win from 15 matches with 33-year-old Seppi, the world number 81 who had enjoyed a memorable week in the Dutch port city by reaching the semi-finals as a 'lucky loser'.

Top-seeded Federer will face Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday's final.

Dimitrov, the second seed, advanced to the semi-finals when Belgian opponent David Goffin was forced to retire after injuring his eye when the ball flew off his own racquet.

Dimitrov was leading 6-3, 0-1 at the time.

Federer said that despite not getting much sleep due to the excitement of his latest achievement -- and draining more energy by watching the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the pre-dawn hours -- he expects to be fighting fit for his Sunday showdown which could result in a 97th career trophy.

“I felt OK today, maybe a bit heavy on court but I was aggressive,” the 20-time Grand Slam title winner said.

“I started finding energy midway through the first set, but the start was tough.”

The two-time Rotterdam champion, who guaranteed a return to the world top spot by seeing off Robin Haase in the quarter-finals on Friday, added that he will be ready to go for his first afternoon match of the week after playing the night showcase slots.

Federer also dropped a big hint that he still might play the Dubai tournament, which begins a week from Monday.

The seven-time winner of the Gulf tournament said that he will take a decision later in the week one way or the other.