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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Watch: Roger Federer revels in 'one of the best weeks of my life' after winning 97th title in Rotterdam

The 20-time grand slam champion celebrated his return to the top ranking by thrashing Dimitrov in the final on Sunday. 

Roger Federer poses with the Rotterdam Open trophy after his victory in unday's final against Grigor Dimitrov. Michael Kooren / Reuters
Roger Federer poses with the Rotterdam Open trophy after his victory in unday's final against Grigor Dimitrov. Michael Kooren / Reuters

Roger Federer celebrated his return to the top of the world rankings by winning the Rotterdam Open on Sunday, his 97th career title, and declared it "one of the best weeks of my life".

The 36-year-old Swiss, the oldest No 1 in history, thrashed ailing Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in a one-sided final. In the Open era, only American Jimmy Connors has won more titles with 109.

"What a fantastic week," Federer said. "The goal at start of week was to make it to the semi-finals. This is absolutely amazing, I'm really pleased."

"It's unbelievable to be number one again after all these (six) years -- this is one of the best weeks of my life."

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Federer, the record 20-time grand slam winner, will officially reclaim the No 1 ranking he last held in October 2012 when the new ATP rankings are published on Monday.

He has played two tournaments this year and won both, the other being January's Australian Open which he won for the sixth time.

"I saved the best for last," said Federer, who has a 12-0 record on the season, before jetting home to his family.

"I had a great first match and a great last match. In between it was a battle, it was nerve-wracking getting back to No 1. But I was able to manage my nerves and the expectations. I was able to handle that pressure, today I played great from the beginning."

Federer is three years older than American Andre Agassi was when previously holding the record for oldest No.1 back in 2003.

As for chasing down Connors's record of 109 titles, Federer said his first objective was to get to 100.

"Ninety-seven is not 100 yet, you've got to stay healthy if you want to get close to finals. Things can evaporate quickly," Federer said.

Sunday was Federer' third title in Rotterdam following successes in 2005 and 2012 and he now stands 12-0 for the season. He needed just 55 minutes to dispatch Dimitrov who looked to be under-cooked in the quickfire final.

Federer now stands a perfect 7-0 over the Bulgarian in their head-to-head series.

"I was expecting a tough final, but I could see that Grigor was not at his best midway through," Federer said. "He's a great player and a great athlete and has been playing well recently.

"I was able to improve my tennis today when I needed to, I was able to take advantage. I'm very, very happy."

Dimitrov refused to blame any kind of physical or fitness problem for his weak showing although tournament director Richard Krajicek said that the player had been sick.

"Overall, it was a good week, I just came up short today. Anything can happen out there, all credit to Roger. He's back to No 1, played well all week and kept raising the bar," he said.

Federer will now decide within a few days whether or not to travel to Dubai for the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships event starting a week from Monday.

He has a home and training base in the UAE and has won the hardcourt tournament seven times.

His effort in Rotterdam appeared to take little out of him physically, with his only loss of a set coming in the quarter-final against Robin Haase.