{
    "title": "Federer, Dimitrov win; Pouille exits",
    "image": "https:\/\/images.supersport.com\/2018\/2\/Roger-Federer-180314-AfterWin-G-300.jpg",
    "body": "<p>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 No 1.\r\n<\/p><p>\r\nThe 36-year-old top seed, a two-time champion at the Dutch indoor event, needs to reach the semi-finals to take back the No 1 spot from Rafael Nadal.\r\n<\/p><p>\r\nWith two more victories, Federer would become the oldest man by three years to hold the top position in the rankings.\r\n<\/p><p>\r\n\"It's very surprising how good things went today,\" Federer said. \"The key is to start well, put him under pressure.<\/p><p>\r\n\r\n\"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.\"<\/p><p>\r\n\r\nFederer gave no quarter as he raced to a 5-0 lead, with the out-matched Bemelmans winning his first game after 16 minutes.\r\n<\/p><p>\r\nThe 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.\r\n<\/p><p>\r\nThe 20-time Grand Slam champion on Thursday takes on German Philipp Kohlschreiber, against whom he stands 12-0 in career meetings.\r\n<\/p><p>\r\n\r\n\"You always prefer to play the guy whose game you know,\" Federer said. \r\n<\/p><p>\r\n\"You know his patterns, it's nice to play someone like that, you know what to expect.<\/p><p>\r\n\r\n\"My start will be crucial, I need to stay focused all the way. Any lapses can get you into trouble.\"<\/p><p>\r\n\r\nThird 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.<\/p><p>\r\n\r\nGrigor Dimitrov and David Goffin, the duo who faced off in last year's season-ending ATP Finals, both advanced with straight-sets wins.<\/p><p>\r\n\r\nSecond 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.<\/p><p>\r\n\r\nGoffin made light work of veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, cruising through 6-1, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.\r\n<\/p><p>\r\nDimitrov won the opening set against Sugita but fell behind a break in the second before levelling for 5-all. \r\n<\/p><p>\r\nAs 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.<\/p><p>\r\n\r\nDimitrov 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.<\/p><p>\r\n\r\n\"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.\r\n<\/p><p>\r\n\"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.\"<\/p><p>\r\n\r\nLast weekend's Montpellier champion Lucas Pouille exited in his opening match, losing 7-5, 6-4 to Andrey Rublev.\r\n<\/p><p>\r\nThe 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.\r\n<\/p><p>\r\nPouille lost in 93 minutes, hitting a dozen aces in defeat but losing serve four times.<\/p><p>\r\n\r\nThe 34th-ranked Rublev owns his only career title from Umag last summer on clay. Herbert will play Russian Daniil Medvedev in the second round.<\/p><p>\r\n\r\nRobin Haase won an all-Dutch affair over Thiemo de Bakker 6-2, 6-2. <\/p>",
    "blurb": "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 No 1.",
    "date": "2018-02-15T20:46:56",
    "author": "",
    "credit": "AFP",
    "img_credit": "Roger Federer \u00a9 Gallo Images",
    "category": "ATP",
    "videos": []
}