Grigor Dimitrov has now lost all seven meetings against Roger Federer after losing the Rotterdam Open final 2-6, 2-6 on February 18 in less than an hour.
For Federer, it was his 97th career title that will put him back at the top of the ATP rankings, making him the oldest player to hold the world number one position. Dimitrov, despite the loss, will rise one spot in the rankings to fourth one week after losing that place to Germany’s Alexander Zverev.
Despite a bright start to the match from Dimitrov, an unforced error on a backhand at 2-2 in the first set seemed to take the wind from his sails and Federer won the next six games before Dimitrov held his serve again. All in all, Federer converted four of eight break points, while Dimitrov had none, winning two points on Federer’s serve in just one game.
“I was expecting it to be tough today. Grigor is a great player and a great athlete and he’s been playing super well in recent months. I thought that this wasn’t going to be the result, but he looked to be struggling a bit and I never looked back. I was able to execute my tennis the way I wanted to. I’m very happy,” Federer said after the match, in comments reported by atptour.com.
Last week, Dimitrov had to withdraw from his home tournament, the Sofia Open, where he was defending champion, citing a shoulder injury sustained at the Australian Open. He appeared to have recovered for the most part in Rotterdam, but his first service still gave him some trouble throughout the tournament.