We have all heard the popular saying: “Old is Gold!”
Although Roger Federer might not be literally close to old age, he is certainly nearing the twilight of his illustrious career, but going by form and fitness, the maestro is far from being over with his heroics on the tennis court.
Many assumed in late 2016 it was about time Federer called it quits, but the age-defying resurgence in 2017 have squashed all retirement speculations since.
Registering victory in the quarter-final of the ABN AMRO World Tournament against Dutch star Robin Haase, the Swiss reclaimed his number one rank, a spot he has held for a total of 302 weeks previously.
Now, at 36, he becomes the oldest player in the history of the sport to secure the top spot, surpassing Andre Agassi, who held the record at age 33.
Known for his brilliant sense of humour, the world number one took to social media to address the fact and tweeted: “Apparently I'm the oldest tennis player with a #1 ranking. Somebody might have mentioned that to me already but I had a hard time hearing.”
While he later spoke of his incredible journey and how he felt reclaiming the highest honours again.
Nadal has not played since retiring in the Australian Open quarter-finals last month, and with his withdrawal from the Rotterdam tournament, the 36-year-old thought it to be the ideal opportunity as there was a chance to secure the elite spot. Hence he entered the competition via wildcard.
Moments after the win on Friday, Federer said: “What an amazing run it's been and a journey it's been for me ... to clinch world No. 1.
"Getting to No. 1 and enjoying it right here at 36, almost 37 years old is an absolute dream come true. I can't believe it.”
He asserted there was no substitute for hard work and age being a prime factor in determining the length of his involvement in the game, for Federer, reaching this stage indeed makes it more noteworthy.
“This one, because I'm a little bit older, is a little bit more special maybe, because there's just so much that has to go into it, so much has to be right for it to work out, and it did so. It's a very deep satisfaction.
“Reaching No. 1 is one of, if not the ultimate achievement in our sport,” Federer added.
“Sometimes at the beginning you get there just because you play so well. Later, you sometimes try to fight it back and you wrest it back from somebody else who deserved to be there, and when you're older you feel like you have to put maybe double the work in. So this one maybe means the most to me throughout my career.”
The Swiss ace takes on Andreas Seppi in the semis, while Grigor Dimitrov squares off against David Goffin for a place in the final.
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