It hasn’t even been three weeks since he became the first man in tennis history to win 20 Grand Slam singles titles, but he’s setting records again: Roger Federer reached the semifinals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Friday, which means he’ll make a historic return to No. 1 on Monday.
Federer struggled early in his quarterfinal match against Robin Haase. Having not faced a single break point in his first two matches of the tournament, he finally faced one in this match—and lost it—en route to losing the first set, 6-4. But he regrouped in a big way from there, dominating the second and third sets to close out the No. 42-ranked Dutchman after an hour and 19 minutes, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.
Federer's return to No. 1, at the expense of his career rival, Rafael Nadal, will be historic in several ways:
At age 36, Federer will be the oldest player, male or female, ever to be ranked No. 1, surpassing the current men’s record (Andre Agassi, at 33) and the current women’s record (Serena Williams, at 35).
At five years and 106 days since he last held it on November 4, 2012, Federer now has the men’s record for biggest gap between stints at No. 1. One woman—the current No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki—has gone longer between stints at No. 1, with six years between January 29, 2012 and January 29, 2018.
A special ceremony in Rotterdam for the new, "old" No. 1, Roger Federer: