Roger Federer has been on the sidelines ever since last year's Wimbledon, where he lost in the quarterfinals to Hubert Hurkacz. The Swiss maestro's fans have been feeling desolate in his absence and have had to resort to old videos of him to comfort themselves.
Earlier on Monday, Tennis TV's Twitter handle posted a point from his quarterfinal clash against Robin Haase in Rotterdam in 2018. The video took fans back to when the Fed Express unironically acted like a self-appointed line judge to call his own first serve out.
Serving at 1-0, 40-15 in the decider, Federer fired down a serve out wide. The ball, however, was not called out by either the umpire or any of the linesmen, leaving many fans at the venue perplexed. Haase then took it upon himself to inform the Swiss about it, urging him to challenge the call.
Federer, however, showed once again why he is revered all around the world for his sportsmanship as he quipped that his serve was indeed out. The Swiss maestro's response left local fans in splits, but he didn't let their reaction affect his composure as he eventually won the point in typical fashion.
Here is the exchange between the two during that stage of the match:
Robin Haase: Roger, no one called out!
Roger Federer: It was out.
It was smooth sailing for the Fed Express from that point onwards as he won five of the last six games to register a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Haase, becoming the oldest World No. 1 in tennis history. He also went on to win his third title in the Dutch city, beating both Andreas Seppi and Grigor Dimitrov without dropping a set.
Roger Federer became the oldest World No. 1 in the history of the game in 2018
Four years ago, Federer was enjoying a great time in his career as he had just won the 2018 Australian Open in epic fashion. The Swiss then played at the Rotterdam Open a few weeks later, another tournament where he has enjoyed considerable success.
There was a lot on the line for Federer in that tournament though. Aiming to become the oldest World No. 1 at the age of 36, he needed to reach at least the semifinals of the event to replace his archrival Rafael Nadal in the top spot. And he did just that, defeating Haase in three sets to become the new No. 1.
Although the Swiss maestro delighted fans with his sportsmanship and class during the match, his effort to ensure he was numero uno once again was easily the highlight of the day.
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