ROTTERDAM – Roger Federer has become the oldest world number one in tennis history after he beat Robin Haase at the Rotterdam Open on Friday.
The 36-year-old Swiss replaced Rafael Nadal, 31, at the summit, as the Spaniard recovers from a thigh injury.
Federer’s prospects looked slim when he lost the first set, but he dropped just two games thereafter to claim a 4-6 6-1 6-1 win and reach the semi-finals, the BBC reported.
“Reaching number one is if not one of, the ultimate achievement in our sport,” Federer said.
“When you’re older you feel like you have to put double the work in, so this one maybe means more to me than any other … it’s a dream come true, I can’t believe it.”
The 20-time Grand Slam champion will face Italian Andreas Seppi or Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the last four.
He first became world number one in February 2004, but has not topped the rankings since October 2012 and slipped to a low of 17th in January 2017.
That was after he spent six months out recovering from an operation on a knee problem.
However, he has since won eight titles, including Wimbledon last year and two Australian Opens.
Federer surpassed the previous record holder, eight-time Grand Slam-winner Andre Agassi, who was 33 when he last topped the rankings in September 2003.