Three-time Grand Slam winner Lindsay Davenport believes that Roger Federer's decision to compete in Rotterdam is testament to the magnitude of his desire to get the number one spot back from Rafael Nadal.
The Swiss ace was initially pencilled in to participate in the Dubai Open but made an abrupt change in his schedule to include Rotterdam, especially with Nadal participating in Acapulco on 26 February. Federer only has to reach the semi-finals in Holland next week to guarantee his return to the top of the ATP World Rankings.
The 36-year-old will become the oldest world number one eclipsing Andre Agassi's record, who was 33-years-old when he became the top ranked player in 2003. The Swiss tennis legend has won the Rotterdam event on two occasions in 2005 and 2012 and this will be his ninth appearance at the event.
The two tennis greats are only separated by a mere 155 points after Nadal managed to hold his spot at the top after making it to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, which was eventually won by Federer. The win marked his 20th Grand Slam title, only the fourth player after Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf to win 20 or more major singles titles.
"This is big news and it certainly signals to everybody how big getting back to number one is to Roger Federer," Lindsey told Tennis Channel, as quoted by the Express. "If he reaches the semi-finals next week in Rotterdam he will take over the top spot from Rafael Nadal.
"That would make Federer the oldest number one in the history of the ATP rankings. Right now [Andre] Agassi holds that at 33 years old.
"He has a lot of points to defend later in the year - 1000 points at Indian Wells where he won last year, 1000 points in Miami where he also won. So he might look at that as a window to get to that number one ranking.
"I'm thrilled that he is able to play in Rotterdam but it also shows that even after winning another major and playing seven matches, his body is healthy. It's really great signs for Fed."