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Federer's victorious return to Rotterdam

In February, ATP tournaments are scattered all over the world. A small series of indoor competitions takes place in Europe, in South America you can find several competitions on clay, in the USA there are hard tournaments, and to this we must add a tournament in Dubai, unique in this list. If you exclude Dubai from this list, then the strongest rosters are assembled in Europe. However, the Asia-Pacific Region has divided the 500 series tournaments equally - there are one each in the USA (Memphis), in South America (Acapulco), and in Europe, the competition in Rotterdam has this status.

ATP-500. Rotterdam (Netherlands)
ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Hard (indoor courts). Prize fund: $ 975,915.

Singles. Final
Roger Federer (Switzerland, 1) - Juan Martin Del Potro (Argentina, 3) - 6: 1, 6: 4.

Doubles. Finals
Mikael Llodra / Nenad Zimonic (France / Serbia, 2) - Horia Tetzau / Robert Lindstedt (Romania / Sweden, 3) - 4: 6, 7: 5, [16:14].

The leaders of men's tennis chose to take a short break after the Australian Open. The exception was Roger Federer , who played in the Davis Cup last week and led the seeding event in Rotterdam this week. The Swiss won the title here in 2005 and has not participated in the tournament since. And in the past two years this competition has been won by Robin Söderling , who failed to swing for the third title in a row due to his own injury. By the way, the Swede has already withdrawn from the next competition in Marseille, so his return to the ATP tour is postponed.

In addition to Federer, Tomas Berdych , Juan Martin del Potro , Alexander Dolgopolov - in general, the line-up is very strong. The Russians arrived in the Netherlands with the same lineup in which they participated in the Davis Cup match in Wiener Neustadt, Austria - Nikolay Davydenko , Mikhail Youzhny , Igor Kunitsyn and Alex Bogomolov Jr. . Moreover, Kunitsyn and Yuzhny hit each other in the first round. Youzhny was worried about his shoulder last week, so he did not participate in singles, unlike Kunitsyn, who spent eight sets on the court. The development of the match turned out to be quite unusual for men's tennis. Mikhail took the first set to zero, in the second a struggle ensued and Kunitsyn pulled out a set in a tie-break, but the third game again ended dry - 6: 0, 6: 7 (4: 7), 6: 0. In the second round, Mikhail was supposed to play with Federer, but the Russian withdrew from the tournament the day before the meeting.

The tournament for Bogomolov also ended in the second round. In the first game, he defeated Sergei Stakhovsky, however, the Ukrainian starred in the second set. Alex's next opponent was Richard Gasquet, who confidently outplayed the Russian - 6: 3, 6: 2. But Bogomolov performed well in a pair, where he, together with the Belgian Dick Norman, reached the semifinals. The tournament ended quickly for Alexander Dolgopolov. 6th seeded in the first round unexpectedly lost to the Pole Lukasz Kubotu .

Davydenko last week played in the Davis Cup only in a doubles meeting, and he did not play singles due to a cold. It was a big loss for the national team, which Nikolay proved this week. In the first two circles, he passed Robin Hase and Paul-Henri Mathieu , but it was difficult to determine Davydenko's form by these rivals, but Richard Gasquet was another matter. Nikolay played with the Frenchman just two weeks ago in Montpellier, and there Richard won very confidently. In their new meeting, at first everything went according to the same scenario, although the Russian played very actively from the very beginning. Gradually, the number of net wins in Davydenko's game began to outweigh the mistakes. Gasquet looked slightly surprised at the quality of his opponent's play. Nikolai really showed a cool game, which many have already missed. As a result, in the first game he won back from a score of 2: 5, and in the second he won without additional adventures - 7: 5, 6: 3. At the beginning of the meeting I was a little nervous. Richard chose good tactics for this fight and earned a lot of points at the expense of the “winners”. But I, in turn, played better and better, making fewer and fewer mistakes in the course of the meeting, - said Nikolay.

In the semifinals, Federer became his opponent. The Russian has a rich history of meetings with the Swiss, for a long time he could not beat him, but from the 13th attempt, Davydenko still beat Roger. The total head-to-head score prior to their match in Rotterdam was 2:16. Some time ago, it was difficult to imagine that Nikolai would be able to compete with the Swiss, but his play in the quarterfinals gave rise to hope. In addition, Federer himself recently did not look invincible in this segment of the season, because last week he lost on clay to John Isner .

The semi-final turned out to be very meaningful in terms of the quality of the game, yes and there was enough drama. In the first game Nikolay had a slight advantage, which he managed to realize. Davydenko continued to bend his line and led with a break in the second game. Unfortunately, it didn't work out to put the squeeze on the opponent. Roger returned the lost serve, and Davydenko at that moment called the doctor. The Russian was worried about the knee. The medical break didn't help him much, and Federer outplayed him at the end of the second game. It seemed that the third set could pass without a fight, but here Davydenko showed his character. For a long time, the Russian drew games on his own serve, playing one break point after another. And when the score was 4: 3, Nikolai already had a great chance - a triple hidden matchball. On the second of them the ball was in play, but the Russian made a mistake in the attack, and the opponent played great on the other two. Federer managed to mobilize at a critical moment and won 13 goals out of the last 14 - 4: 6, 6: 3, 6: 4.

In the final, Roger's opponent was Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine did not participate in the first round of the Davis Cup, which was rather to his advantage. Del Potro struggled to enter the tournament, beating Mikael Llodr in three intense sets, but then brokeand defeated Viktor Troitsky and Tomas Berdych .

The last time Federer and del Potro played in Melbourne, Roger won very confidently ... It seemed that in this situation the Argentinean would have more chances to win, but the final denied this assumption. The Swiss had a great fight, making a few inaccuracies. Juan Martin had several chances to make the game more stubborn, but he acted unsuccessfully on important balls - 1: 6, 4: 6.

Federer won his first title in the new year and is already 71st in his career , which allowed him to add 500 points to his rating. Of course, he will not catch up with Rafael Nadal yet, but in fact he has reduced a quarter of the gap from the Spaniard. The next tournament for the Swiss will be Dubai, and del Potro will play next week in Marseille. The Argentine will miss the first round, and in the second he may have to play with Davydenko.

Roger Federer Oldest No 1 - Best Rotterdam Points

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