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17 Feb 2018

Roger Federer turns the clock back, becoming the oldest man to reach tennis world number one

They know a thing or two about time in Switzerland — their cuckoo clocks, expensive wristwatches and unerring railway timetables are proof of that.

Yet it is the Alpine nation's favourite son, Roger Federer, who has apparently mastered the art of reversing it.

The Peter Pan of men's tennis took his time machine to Rotterdam this week and on Friday posted a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Dutchman Robin Haase to reach the semi-finals of the Rotterdam Open.

n doing so he is guaranteed a return to number one in the ATP world rankings for the first time since November 2012.

"What an amazing run its been and a journey it's been for me ... to clinch world number one," Federer said after his win.

"Getting to number one and enjoying it right here at 36, almost 37 years old is an absolute dream come true. I can't believe it."

The 36-year-old father of two sets of twins becomes the oldest man ever to top the standings, replacing American Andre Agassi who was 33 when he last held the top spot in 2003.

Not only that but the gap of five years and 106 days between separate stints at the summit is the longest in ATP history.

He also sets a new record for the longest time between debuting as world number one (in 2004) and his latest stint — a record previously held by Rafael Nadal, the man Federer has knocked off the top of the pile.

Since Federer lost the top spot in 2012, when many predicted his best days were done, Novak Djokovic, Nadal and Andy Murray have all had lengthy periods on the throne but while the clock ticks ever louder for that battle-ravaged trio, Federer appears to have found a new dimension.

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