Roger Federer dreaming of recapturing No 1 spot in Rotterdam this week
Swiss star opens his tournament against 116-ranked Belgian Ruben Bemelmans on Wednesday
By Husmukh Kerai
Last Updated: 12/02/18 3:37pm
Roger Federer says he is allowing himself to dream about becoming the oldest-ever world No 1 with a run to the semi-finals at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
Fresh from winning his 20th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, Federer aims to climb back to the top of the rankings and he would become the oldest man ever to do so at the age of 36.
Sky Live: Rotterdam Open
Roger Federer bids to regain world No 1 ranking at ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam
He is just 155 ATP ranking points behind top-ranked Rafael Nadal, but the Spaniard is not scheduled to play until the end of February in Acapulco, presenting Federer with an opportunity to become the oldest-ever world No 1, with a run to the semi-finals enough to see him overtake his long-time rival at the 500 event in the Netherlands, live on Sky Sports Arena HD.
But the Swiss legend, who won the tournament in 2005 and 2012, would have to defeat compatriot and friend Stan Wawrinka in what would be a blockbuster quarter-final, should the seedings hold up.
"I would love to be in that position with anyone, but with Stan it would be like a Grand Slam final, a big-time match," said Federer.
"I'm hoping to get to number one and hoping to do it this week. You always want to do it the tough way, it's not easy to get there.
"I didn't expect to win Australia, I played it not thinking about number one. I didn't think of the rankings at all in Melbourne. Afterwards, I thought I could always play Rotterdam, I'd love to play, give it a go and see what happens.
"I'm happy I'm here, healthy and eager to play."
Federer also discussed his plans for the upcoming clay-court swing, which he skipped completely last year on the way to winning his eighth Wimbledon title.
He said: "The clay season is up in the air. If I'm playing a lot during this part of the season, it would be hard to play a robust clay season.
"It would be light [schedule] if I do play.
"We'll see how it goes, I'm healthy and glad to be playing. I should be playing when I feel that way and not play when I don't feel at 100 percent or don't feel ready to do it.
"That's the secret for me moving forward."
We will be covering the ATP ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Rio Open, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and ATP 500 Acapulco in February on www.skysports.com/tennis with news, previews, live blogs, reports and expert analysis.
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