Bemelmans no match for Federer

RogerFedererCropped

Federer begins summit bid with dominant win

Federer will replace his old rival Rafael Nadal at No 1 if he reaches the semifinals at the indoor tournament.

Federer confessed that a meeting with the world No. 36, who has won just one match in 2018, was favourable and that he knows exactly what to expect.

The eight-time Wimbledon champion will become the oldest number one in tennis history if he manages to reprise the ranking for the first time in nearly five-and-a-half years.#.

The outcome was never in doubt as Federer dominated with six aces and four service breaks, winning an impressive 21 of 23 first-serve points in the demolition.

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Federer, a two-time champion in Rotterdam, accepted a wildcard to feature in the 500 event and will next meet German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber in the last 16. "The key is to start well, put him under pressure".

With two more victories, Federer would become the oldest man by three years to hold the top position in the rankings. The beginning will be crucial tomorrow, you don't want to fall behind, you want to stay focussed all the way. "Any lapses can get you into trouble".

"I played at the Australian Open not thinking about the rankings, but I knew I had the flexibility in February over my calendar", Federer said.

The Bulgarian was joined as a victor by rival David Goffin, who lost to Dimitrov last November in the tile match of the ATP Finals in London.

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Second seed Dimitrov, who beat Belgian fourth seed Goffin in the London final last November, had to fight back in the second set to defeat Japan's Yuichi Sugita 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in their first-round encounter.

Goffin moved to the quarter-finals at the Ahoy stadium, defeating Spain's Feliciano Lopez 6-1 6-3.

The major upset victim of the day was third-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany, who fell in straight sets to Italian Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-3 in second-round action. Dimitrov and Haase were joined in the second round by qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who advanced after Richard Gasquet retired while trailing 3-1.

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