Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Federer cruises at Rotterdam in quest for ATP No. 1

Federer cruises at Rotterdam in quest for ATP No. 1

Roger Federer is two wins away from clinching a return trip to the No. 1 ranking next week, as he took care of Ruben Bemelmans 6-1, 6-2 in a lightning-quick 49 minutes during first-round action at the 2018 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Wednesday.

The 20-time Grand Slamchampion will lock horns with Philipp Kohlschreiber.

The 36-year-old top seed broke twice in the first set against the Belgian qualifier and secured the opener with a trademark forehand victor.

The Swiss No.1 seed, who already owns a pair of Dutch tournament titles, needs to reach the weekend semi-finals of the Rotterdam Open take back the top spot from Rafael Nadal. "The key is to start well, put him under pressure". The Swiss hit six aces, dropped only four points on his serve, and broke Bemelmans four times in the first round. Andre Agassi, who now holds this record aged at 33 years and 133 days old.

"It was my first match in three weeks, and you're always a little rusty", said Dimitrov who has been dealing with a sore shoulder in recent weeks.

Second seed Grigor Dimitrov needed to hold off an inspired charge from Japan's Yuichi Sugita to advance to the second round 6-4 7-6 (7-5). "But I'm not there yet, it's not going to be easy, I know that, world number one has never been easy, so I'm going to try and see what happens this week", the eight-time Wimbledon champion added.

The seventh-ranked Goffin, who beat Nicolas Mahut in straight sets in his previous match, will next face sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych. "I faced a quality player and I'm happy with how things went for me today - I was pain-free in my shoulder".

Earlier, David Goffin eased into the quarterfinals by defeating Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 6-3.

Also, Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina downed Romania's Marius Copil 6-4, 6-4; Robin Haase dominated Netherlands countryman Thiemo de Bakker 6-2, 6-2; and French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert advanced after countryman Richard Gasquet retired during the first set of their match.

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