A combination of Nadal winning two clay-court tournaments and Federer deciding to give it a miss had dethroned the Swiss legend from the World No.1 spot in men’s tennis.
He needed three wins in the Stuttgart Open to get back to the top and Federer achieved that feat by defeating Nick Krygios in the semifinals of the tournament with a 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 victory over the Australian.
Speaking to reporters after the feat, he said, “I am very happy and very relieved. It was close and could have gone either way naturally but I am happy that I got it and got back to world no.1 next Monday.”
It was not exactly a smooth ride for Federer. Matches between him and Krygios have always been close ones with a tie-breaker always involved. Moreover, he had already dropped a couple of sets earlier in the tournament.
When asked about his mindset, Federer was honest with his comments. “It has never been easy, even before last match point I thought I had lost the last couple of matches here before match point.”
“I thought maybe it was going to happen again but when I picked up the half-volley, I was so happy”, he stated.
To commemorate his achievement, the Swiss master was presented with a plaque by tournament director, Edwin Weindorfer. With that, he also furthered his own record of being the oldest player to hold the No.1 ranking.
Federer currently holds a 50-point lead over Nadal in the ATP rankings but could extend that to 150 with a victory in the final against Canadian, Milos Raonic.
A victory in the finals would surely provide an ideal platform to prepare for the Wimbledon, which starts on July 2. Federer has won a record 8 Wimbledon titles and would be gunning for his ninth this time around.