Roger Federer has been backed to end the year as the top ranked player in men's tennis and add a ninth Wimbledon title to his kitty later in the year by former women's world number one Lindsay Davenport.
The Swiss ace overtook Rafael Nadal at the top of the ATP rankings on Friday, 16 February, following his quarter-final win over Robin Haase. He is now 25 points ahead of the Spaniard in the standings, and can increase it to 345-points if he goes onto win the 2018 Rotterdam Open.
Federer is unbeaten in 2018 and made it eight titles in just over 12 months when he captured the Australian Open crown in January. He will be favourite to retain his titles going into the Miami and Indian Wells Masters later in March.
The 36-year-old has again indicated that, if he plays, he will play a light schedule during the clay court swing of the season. In 2017, Federer chose to skip all the tournaments played on clay in order to focus on the grass and hard court events later in the year.
The Swiss maestro's decision paid dividends as he went on to capture a record eighth Wimbledon title in July. Davenport, who has won at SW19 in the past, is confident that Federer will again triumph in London, and she is also certain that no one will surpass him in the rankings before the end of the season. If he finishes as the year-end number one, the Swiss legend will equal Pete Sampras' record of six year-end number one finishes.
"Roger will win at Wimbledon again and have a good fall and I can't see anybody passing him," Davenport said, as quoted by the Express.
"I underestimated Roger last year after he won Aus Open. I thought that was his moment of glory. I just don't see it happening where he's not successful.
"He's so smart at managing his schedule - so happy playing now and so confident. He has the ability to play at such a high level, but also have a great maturity and great outlook," the three-time women's singles Grand Slam winner explained.
"He knows exactly where he wants to play this year, where he plays well and what makes sense for his family. He puts a lot of thought into a lot of small decisions."