On Monday, February 19, 2018 the ATP’s Oldest #1 player will be a familiar face, Roger Federer.
After a late entry into Rotterdam’s ATP 500, Roger set a course to acheiving the world #1 ranking, which he will be taking away from current ATP #1, and long time rival, Rafael Nadal.
ATP’s Oldest #1 – The Path to #1
Roger Federer had somewhat of an easy path to # being the ATP’s Oldest #1, only having to face some players who don’t quite have the experience that the “All-Time Great” has; a quick first round against qualifying Belgian, Ruben Bemelmans. The first round match lasted a mere 47 minutes and 3 seconds, 6-1, 6-2. Bemelmans stood no chance as he came out looking a little bit like “deer in the headlights” or even starstruck. Federer was too sharp.
Next up on the path to ATP’s Oldest #1 for Roger Federer came Philipp Kohlshreiber. This match up was a little trickier for the Swiss Maestro. While Federer has never lost to Kohlschreiber, the German is a pretty good player, reaching a career high of 16 and capturing 8 singles titles. Philipp kept the match as close as he could but wasn’t able to come up with the goods when he got close. It was over in 1 hour and 41 minutes, 7-6(8), 7-5.
The defining match match for the title ATP’s Oldest #1. A solid match between longtime practice partner and ATP tour friend, Robin Haase. This match went as expected, Haase having somewhat of an advantage over the rest of the field, having practiced with Federer frequently so he might know a few things to pick on. While Haase did keep it close taking the first set with a break at 4 all, then closing it out by holding serve. Unfortunately, the Dutchman couldn’t figure it out and lost in 3, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, in 1 hour and 19 minutes.
Past ATP’s Oldest #1
I’m going to say this once, we’re talking Open Era here, before the Open Era, the scoring and tournament system was a bit “slap-dash”. The Open Era began in 1968, so the ATP’s Oldest #1 start at this point to today:
- Andre Agassi (33 years, 11 days)
- Rafael Nadal (31 years and 8 months currently)
Now that Roger Federer is the back at the top, he’s the ATP’s Oldest #1 at a historic, albeit Open Era, 36 years 6 months and 9 days. Simply incredible.
What’s Left for Roger Federer?
Of course with this new #1 ATP ranking, it begs the question of what is left for the Greatest Of All Time? Well, you can find out over at this list of records that Roger Federer still can achieve: Records: What’s left for Roger Federer? While many of these records aren’t likely to be achieved, many of them can be beaten. Especially the career titles record, currently held by Jimmy Connors (109 career singles titles); Federer currently sits at 96 career singles titles.
It doesn’t seem that Roger Federer will be slowing down much for the rest of 2018; though it’s not likely he will be entering the French Open and likely to miss the entire clay season. Why risk the body?
Although, he could widen his points gap significantly in any tournament he enters this year, since he’s not defending any ATP points.