Federer returning to top of ATP rankings at 36

Federer returning to top of ATP rankings at 36

Despite being the top two seeds at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov's respective paths to the quarterfinals on Thursday were anything but easy.

"It was extremely complicated tonight", Federer was quoted as saying afterward on the ATP World Tour's Web site.

Needing to reach the last four to overtake great rival Rafael Nadal, Federer showed some early nerves in his quarter-final clash in the port city's Ahoy Arena, dropping serve in the ninth game on his way to conceding the first set.

In Friday night's quarter-finals at this indoor hard-court event, Federer will try to extend his ideal record over Haase to 3-0. Kohlschreiber, 34, had not beaten Federer in 12 attempts but on his own service game proved a tough opponent for the Swiss, pushing him all the way to a first set tiebreak.

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'I think Philipp did that to me; it was a struggle. "It was quite a relief at the end".

He won the Australian Open and Wimbledon past year and then extended his record haul of Grand Slam titles to 20 last month by successfully defending his Australian Open title.

"Don't just accept that the other guy is better", Federer said while talking about how lower-ranked players should approach their matches against the top players, as quoted by Tennis World USA.

"So this one maybe means the most to me throughout my career". I would have had great regret if I had not come here this week. "I had to win a lot of matches", he said.

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"Sometimes at the beginning you just kind of get there because you played so well, but later you have to fight for it and have to wrestle it back from someone who deserves to be there".

Federer cruised 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in a 2012 clay-court Davis Cup tie in the Netherlands and he also got the job done 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the Montreal semifinals last summer.

The Bulgarian will face Andrey Rublev on Friday after the 20-year-old Russian struggled for almost two hours before finally seeing off Damir Dzumhur 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).

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