TENNIS

Federer rushes towards No 1 ranking with a 47-minute win over Bemelmans in Rotterdam Open

The Australian Open champion is just two wins away from becoming the sport’s oldest No 1.

Roger Federer delivered a crushing 6-1, 6-2 defeat of Ruben Bemelmans in just 47 minutes on Wednesday as the Swiss star moved just two wins away from becoming the sport’s oldest world number one.

The 36-year-old top seed, a two-time champion at the Dutch indoor event, needs to reach the semi-finals to take back the number one spot from Rafael Nadal.

With two more victories, Federer would become the oldest man by three years to hold the top position in the rankings.

“It’s very surprising how good things went today,” Federer said. “The key is to start well, put him under pressure.

“I wanted to make him think he had to do something special to beat me. I did well there, I felt good, I’m healthy and I’m confident. It was a great first round for me.”

Federer gave no quarter as he raced to a 5-0 lead, with the out-matched Bemelmans winning his first game after 16 minutes.

The outcome was never in doubt as Federer dominated with six aces and four service breaks, winning an impressive 21 of 23 first-serve points in the demolition.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion on Thursday takes on German Philipp Kohlschreiber, against whom he stands 12-0 in career meetings.

“You always prefer to play the guy whose game you know,” Federer said.

“You know his patterns, it’s nice to play someone like that, you know what to expect.

“My start will be crucial, I need to stay focused all the way. Any lapses can get you into trouble.”

Seppi stuns Zverev

Third seed Alexander Zverev fell in an upset to qualifying lucky loser Andreas Seppi of Italy, 6-4, 6-3 in the second round to open up Federer’s half of the draw.

Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin, the duo who faced off in last year’s season-ending ATP Finals, both advanced with straight-sets wins.

Second seed Dimitrov, who beat Belgian fourth seed Goffin in the London final last November, had to fight back in the second set to defeat Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in their first-round encounter.

Goffin made light work of veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, cruising through 6-1, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals.

Dimitrov won the opening set against Sugita but fell behind a break in the second before levelling for 5-all.

As the set went into a tie-break, the Bulgarian surged ahead as he took a 5-2 lead but had to hold off his opponent as Sugita clawed back to within a point of levelling.

Dimitrov then sent a forehand into the corner to earn a pair of match points and advanced on his second with a service winner to end the resistance of the 41st-ranked Sugita.

“It was my first match in three weeks, and you’re always a little rusty,” said Dimitrov who has been dealing with a sore shoulder in recent weeks.

“I was trying to find rhythm. I faced a quality player and I’m happy with how things went for me today – I was pain-free in my shoulder.”

Last weekend’s Montpellier champion Lucas Pouille exited in his opening match, losing 7-5, 6-4 to Andrey Rublev.

The Russian was joined in the second round at the Ahoy Arena by Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, who advanced after just 15 minutes when compatriot Richard Gasquet, the Montpellier finalist, retired with a groin injury trailing 3-1.

Pouille lost in 93 minutes, hitting a dozen aces in defeat but losing serve four times.

The 34th-ranked Rublev owns his only career title from Umag last summer on clay. Herbert will play Russian Daniil Medvedev in the second round.

Robin Haase won an all-Dutch affair over Thiemo de Bakker 6-2, 6-2.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Can a colour encourage creativity and innovation?

The story behind the universally favoured colour - blue.

It was sought after by many artists. It was searched for in the skies and deep oceans. It was the colour blue. Found rarely as a pigment in nature, it was once more precious than gold. It was only after the discovery of a semi-precious rock, lapis lazuli, that Egyptians could extract this rare pigment.

For centuries, lapis lazuli was the only source of Ultramarine, a colour whose name translated to ‘beyond the sea’. The challenges associated with importing the stone made it exclusive to the Egyptian kingdom. The colour became commonly available only after the invention of a synthetic alternative known as ‘French Ultramarine’.

It’s no surprise that this rare colour that inspired artists in the 1900s, is still regarded as the as the colour of innovation in the 21st century. The story of discovery and creation of blue symbolizes attaining the unattainable.

It took scientists decades of trying to create the elusive ‘Blue Rose’. And the fascination with blue didn’t end there. When Sir John Herschel, the famous scientist and astronomer, tried to create copies of his notes; he discovered ‘Cyanotype’ or ‘Blueprints’, an invention that revolutionized architecture. The story of how a rugged, indigo fabric called ‘Denim’ became the choice for workmen in newly formed America and then a fashion sensation, is known to all. In each of these instances of breakthrough and innovation, the colour blue has had a significant influence.

In 2009, the University of British Columbia, conducted tests with 600 participants to see how cognitive performance varies when people see red or blue. While the red groups did better on recall and attention to detail, blue groups did better on tests requiring invention and imagination. The study proved that the colour blue boosts our ability to think creatively; reaffirming the notion that blue is the colour of innovation.

When we talk about innovation and exclusivity, the brand that takes us by surprise is NEXA. Since its inception, the brand has left no stone unturned to create excusive experiences for its audience. In the search for a colour that represents its spirit of innovation and communicates its determination to constantly evolve, NEXA created its own signature blue: NEXA Blue. The creation of a signature color was an endeavor to bring something exclusive and innovative to NEXA customers. This is the story of the creation, inspiration and passion behind NEXA:

Play

To know more about NEXA, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of NEXA and not by the Scroll editorial team.