» Sports » Federer cruises past Dimitrov to claim Rotterdam title; Kvitova stuns Wozniacki

Federer cruises past Dimitrov to claim Rotterdam title; Kvitova stuns Wozniacki

Last updated on: February 18, 2018 22:11 IST

Roger Federer

IMAGE:  Roger Federer of Switzerland holds the trophy after winning against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. Photograph:  Michael Kooren/Reuters.

Roger Federer celebrated his return to the top of the world rankings with his second title of the season, swatting aside Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tournament in Rotterdam on Sunday.


Federer, 36, who became the oldest men's world number one after his semi-final victory on Saturday, broke his Bulgarian opponent early in the contest and cruised to a one-set lead at the Ahoy Rotterdam.

Roger Federer

IMAGE: Roger Federer proved too good for Andreas Seppi. Photograph: Michael Kooren/Reuters

Playing flawless tennis, the 20-times major winner carried the momentum forward in the second set to seal the match in 55 minutes for his 97th career title and third in Rotterdam.

The Swiss, who won the Australian Open last month, also improved his head-to-head record against world number five Dimitrov to 7-0.

Kvitova knocks out Wozniacki

Petra Kvitova

IMAGE: Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic staged a grand recovery to overcome world number one Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark. Photograph: Ibraheem Al Omari/Reuters

Petra Kvitova made a shaky start but found her attacking verve midway through the match to beat world number one Caroline Wozniacki 3-6 7-6(3) 7-5 in the Qatar Open on Saturday and set up a final with Spain's Garbine Muguruza.

Kvitova, 27, who lost the opening set tamely and looked in some trouble while trailing 3-1 in the second, fought back in style to clinch her fourth straight victory over the Dane in two hours and 35 minutes.

"I don't know what happened. I was a little crazy in my mind and I was playing everywhere and not to the court," twice Wimbledon champion Kvitova said in a courtside interview.

"I tried to calm myself down a little bit in the second set. Even though I was losing, I was trying to get back somehow.

"When I was down 3-1 I was really angry with myself and I tried to hit some winners," added Kvitova, who made 59 unforced errors including 11 double faults, but also hit 50 winners.

Having dragged the second set into a tiebreaker which she edged, the battling Czech quickly switched gears and attacked her opponent relentlessly to prevail in the decider.

Up next for Kvitova is Muguruza, who enjoyed the day off after her semi-final opponent Simona Halep pulled out of the tournament with a right foot injury after her win on Friday.

"She (Muguruza) had a day off today. Who knows if it's an advantage or not, but I had a great match," added Kvitova. "It was great for my confidence turning the match around."

World number 21 Kvitova won the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy earlier this month and a second title of the season on Sunday could give her a shot at getting back into the top 10.

Anderson edges Nishikori in New York

Kevin Anderson gatecrashed Kei Nishikori's comeback party by blasting 23 aces on his way to a tight 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(4) semi-final victory at the New York Open on Saturday.

The top seeded South African advanced to meet second seed Sam Querrey in Sunday's final after the big-serving American edged Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-3 in the other semi-final.

Japan's Nishikori, in his first tour-level event since incurring a torn tendon in his right wrist last August, swept through his first three matches dropping only one set, but found Anderson was made of sterner stuff than his previous opponents.

Anderson, using his height to great effect on serve, raced through the first set in 22 minutes but Nishikori, cheered on by an enthusiastic contingent of Japanese fans in the modest crowd, fought back in the second.

Neither player could gain an advantage in a tight third set that saw only one break point forged between them, before Anderson prevailed in the tiebreak when Nishikori netted a backhand.

It was, nevertheless, a promising week for Nishikori at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.

He missed two consecutive Grand Slams -- last year's US Open and last month's Australian Open -- before returning to competition in a Challenger level event on January 23.

Querrey, meanwhile, was ecstatic after his first career victory over left-hander Mannarino in four meetings.

"It feels like I beat Rafa (Nadal) out there," he said.

"That (Mannarino) guy's always been so tricky. I know it's my first time beating him and it feels good. I'm so happy to get through that and be in the final."

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