ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Roger Federer returned to the top of the world rankings for the first time in more than five years and becoming the oldest player to reach the top spot , beating the leading Dutch player Robin Haase, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, in the quarterfinal at the ABN AMRO World Tournament.
The 36-year-old will move to the summit of men’s tennis for the first time in more than five years.He accepted a wildcard into the 500 event and took a full advantage of the opportunity to overtake great rival Rafael Nadal and also replace Andre Agassi as the oldest player at the top of the ATP rankings.
“What an amazing run it’s been and a journey it’s been for me,” said Federer, who won three of the last five Grand Slam titles to put him on track to the top.
Getting to No. 1 and enjoying it right here at 36, almost 37 years old is an absolute dream come true,” Federer said. “I can’t believe it.”
On Monday, he will extend his record of 302 weeks at No. 1 since the rankings began in 1973. Pete Sampras is a distant second with 286 weeks at the top. Novak Djokovic is the closest currently active player, with 223 weeks at No. 1.
Reaching No. 1 is one of, if not the ultimate, achievement in our sport,” Federer said.
“Sometimes at the beginning you get there just because you play so well. Later, you sometimes try to fight it back and you wrest it back from somebody else who deserved to be there, and when you’re older, you feel like you have to put maybe double the work in. So this one maybe means the most to me throughout my career.”
Federer, the 2005 and 2012 ABN AMRO champion, plays Andreas Seppi of Italy in the semifinals on Saturday. He beat qualifier Daniil Medvedev of Russia, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3.