Roger Federer, who can get to No. 1 by reaching the semifinals this week at Rotterdam, acknowledges that he's chasing a return to the top ranking.
"I'm hoping to get to No. 1, and hoping to do it this week," he told press at Rotterdam, as quoted by AFP. "The achievement would be quite incredible."
Federer had not originally been scheduled to play but joined the field a few days ago by taking a wild card. His relatively straightforward Australian Open victory left him just behind No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the rankings, and sufficiently fresh to return to competition in just two and a half weeks.
"I didn't expect to win Australia, I played it not thinking about No. 1," he said, but then added that he saw his opening at an event he had frequently played in previous years. "I thought, I could always play Rotterdam, I'd love to play... I'm here, healthy and eager to play."
Federer had also been considering taking a wild card into Dubai in two weeks, but has not said whether he will now play that event. He could also get to No. 1 that week, if he reaches the semifinals or if Nadal does not go deep at his event at Acapulco.
His next scheduled event is the ATP Masters at Indian Wells, and then the Masters at Miami. Federer, who did not play on clay in 2017, said he still had not decided what he would now do during that part of the season.
"If I'm playing a lot during this part of the season, it would be hard to play a robust clay season," he said. "It would be light if I do play."
Federer will begin his campaign against Rubens Bemelmans at Rotterdam.
This Week on Tennis Channel Plus 2/12
ATP Buenos Aires (Feb. 14-18)
-Watch Tennis Channel Plus live coverage of Dominic Thiem and Argentina Open beginning Monday February 12 at 12 p.m. ET.
-Can’t make it to Buenos Aires? Watch every match from the Argentina Open on-demand with Tennis Channel Plus.
ATP Rotterdam (Feb. 13-14)
-Don’t miss extended ATP Rotterdam Court 1 coverage live on Tennis Channel Plus Tuesday February 13 at 6 a.m. ET.
SUBSCRIBE TO TENNIS CHANNEL PLUS at tennischannel.com/subscribe