Roger Federer’s perfect start to 2018 continued as he brushed a listless Grigor Dimitrov aside in a Rotterdam Open final that failed to live up to its promise.
Dimitrov – in the final after an eye injury forced David Goffin to retire from their last-four clash – had no answer to Federer’s quality and never looked like troubling the 36-year-old, who won his 20th grand slam title at last month’s Australian Open.
In truth, Federer did not need to find top gear, as unforced errors aplenty hindered Dimitrov’s chances in a 6-2 6-2 defeat that took less than an hour.
The victory, which takes Federer onto 97 career titles, is his third in Rotterdam, with the new world number one having also won this event in 2005 and 2012.
Dimitrov had lost all six of his previous meetings with Federer but was looking to rack up a fourth career indoor title on the ATP Tour, following wins at the Stockholm Open, Sofia Open and the ATP Finals.
However, the Bulgarian suffered an early break before a backhand into the net two games later left Federer serving for the set at 5-2.
The Swiss duly wrapped up the opener and a struggling Dimitrov fired another backhand into the left tramline to hand Federer the first game of the second set on his own serve.
With Federer so swiftly on the front foot, it seemed only a matter of how long it would take him to put the match to bed, and a double fault from Dimitrov at 3-1 down as good as ended any hope of a comeback.
A love service game apiece brought the scores to 5-2, before a backhand volley from Federer rubber-stamped a victory that never looked in doubt.