March 24, 2018

A break would help, says a tired Federer

15 February 2018, 06:33 | Joan Schultz

Roger Federer poses with his Australian Open trophy

Yes Roger Federer is human. Yes he can have No. 1 rank in mind

Roger Federer said on Monday he could allow himself to dream about recapturing the world number one spot at this week's Rotterdam tournament and becoming the oldest man ever to hold the position.

Federer also gave some insight into his plans for the spring claycourt season, which he skipped completely previous year on the way to winning his eighth Wimbledon title. You always want to do it the tough way. "I happy I'm here, healthy and eager to play".

Cut to January 2018, even as his younger counterparts Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were going through injury issues, Federer finished on the top step of the podium in Melbourne once again and thereby successfully defended his Australian Open title.

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.

Richard Krajicek, former Wimbledon Champion and current Rotterdam tournament director said, " After his fantastic result at the Australian Open, it is tremendous news that he will be joining us in Rotterdam".

As it turns out, Federer is not done yet and is hungrier for more. I don't know what happens then. "Having the option of getting to number one is highly motivating and very exciting to say the least". But I'm not saying I have to play one more [Olympics] before I retire.

Roger Federer recently clinched his 20th Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open
Roger Federer recently clinched his 20th Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open

But a theme of the a year ago or so has been his own surprise at how things have unfolded.

Out to stop Federer's progress will be second seed Grigor Dimitrov, victor of the London year-end showpiece in November and an Australian Open quarterfinalist. He is still very much here and I still believe he will stay around for some time. But Rafa roared back in the year 2017 and won two Major titles. That would be a wish for me: that players would read something into that - not that they just start doing it because the top guys are doing it.

Federer will play in Rotterdam for the first time since a quarterfinal defeat to Julien Benneteau in 2013.

Federer, though, is not the only "veteran" player in the Rotterdam draw. "We'll see how it goes". If Federer is still standing after these first two rounds, that is when he could meet 32-year-old Wawrinka in a battle to claim No1 and a semi-final place-assuming the younger Swiss makes it past 21-year-old Dutch wild card, Tallon Griekspoor.

Wawrinka, who underwent July knee surgery and missed the last six months of 2017, is pleased with his recovery progress and plans to continue his European February tour as he plays three events in a row.

"It would be light (schedule) if I do play", he said. I want to be ready for this event.

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