Roger Federer has got his sights firmly set on returning to world number one at the Rotterdam Open this week.
Since a 2016 season hampered by knee surgery, Federer has been rejuvenated and rediscovered his brilliant best – his decision to skip the Olympic Games and the US Open that year proving a masterstroke as he has won three of the last five grand slam titles, including back-to-back Australian Opens.
However, topping the rankings is one thing that has eluded him with Rafael Nadal the current incumbent after an equally impressive 2017.
Federer's win at Melbourne Park in January moved him to within 155 points of Nadal and, with the Spaniard not playing until Acapulco later this month, he could usurp his old adversary.
A semi-final place will be enough to see him climb to the summit, a feat that would see him end five-year wait and become the oldest world number one in history.
"To be back in Rotterdam is very exciting, to be able to play for world number one is beyond exciting, it's crazy that I have that opportunity," he told Digitale Expressie.
"Semis seems not too far away, but yet it's still a big step so I'm trying to prepare as well as I can, see what happens and go from there.
"I think it would be unbelievable for my team, maybe more so than for myself personally but a lot of guys have put in so much work so that I was able to stay motivated and keep going as I have.
Two time champion Roger Federer says he is happy to be playing in Rotterdam again after five years. "Potentially playing for the world number one ranking is beyond crazy". #abnamrowtt pic.twitter.com/fk2fawD9af— ABN AMRO WTT (@abnamrowtt) February 12, 2018
"To reward everyone with a world number one would be very special.
"Regardless if I make it or not it would look nice to be world number one again, but I'm not there yet, it's not going to be easy I know that, world number one has never been easy but I'm going to try and see what happens this week."
Federer's biggest challenge could come in the form of compatriot Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals, a test the Swiss number one is relishing.
"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," Federer added.
"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.
"I am very motivated to be the number one again. I happy I'm here, healthy and eager to play."
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