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Tennis

Federer becomes oldest world number one in tennis history

Roger Federer after defeating Robin Haase
Roger Federer after defeating Robin Haase REUTERS/Michael Kooren

Roger Federer has described becoming the oldest world number one in tennis history as "a dream come true".

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Fourteen years after first topping the men's ranking, the Swiss beat Robin Haase 4-6 6-1 6-1 to reach the semi-finals of the Rotterdam Open.

Federer replaces Rafa Nadal at number one at the age of 36 years and 195 days, bettering 35-year-old American Serena Williams, who lost her spot at the top of women's tennis in May last year.

"This one means the most at 36 years of age, almost 37," said Federer.

"When you are older you have to work double the amount. You have to wrestle it back from someone who has worked hard to get there.

"Reaching number one is the ultimate achievement in tennis. It has been an amazing journey and to clinch it here, where I got my first wildcard in 1998, means so much."

After defeating Haase in the Netherlands, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer sat down and wiped away tears, before returning to the court to be presented with a trophy for his achievement.

Andre Agassi of the United States previously held the men's ranking record - losing the number spot in 2003 at 33-years-old.

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