Roger Federer is intent on snatching the world No 1 spot from Rafael Nadal with a victory over "good friend" Robin Haase in the quarter-final of the Rotterdam Open on Friday (16 February) and has no issue with discussing the "wonderful" possibility of becoming the oldest player to earn the sport's top ranking.

Federer will leapfrog Nadal if he manages to beat Haase and progress into the semi-finals in Rotterdam, where he has already made light work of Philipp Kohlschreiber and Ruben Bemelmans.

Federer's remarkable Indian summer will be made even more astounding if he manages do what's expected of him and become world No 1 for the first time in almost five-and-a-half years.

The spotlight on the 20-time Grand Slam champion's campaign has predictably intensified due to the prospect of what would be a monumental achievement, but Federer insists he is happy to discuss his expected reprisal, which could be quickly reversed if Nadal manages to shake off his fitness troubles and perform well in the Mexico Open later this month.

"I'm happy to talk about it because it is so wonderful and great. I'm not going to pretend I'm here just to go and look at tulips in Rotterdam," Federer told Dutch outlet Ziggo Sport, relayed by The Express.

"I'm here in Rotterdam trying to win a tournament and in the process get back to No 1. It's there left, right and centre so I can't avoid it. I should have stayed at home if I didn't want to talk about it!"

Only Dutchman Haase stands in the way of Federer becoming the world No 1 again. The world No 42 has faced the 36-year-old twice in his career, losing on both occasions, but he may be able to draw upon his experience of practicing with his Swiss counterpart a few months ago.

Those sessions may hand Haase a fighting chance of ruining Federer's world No 1 dream but the eight-time Wimbledon champion is looking forward to facing his fellow veteran, who he views as one of his "good friends" on the circuit.

"I know him very well like Philipp. The other player I only saw a little bit against Stan [Wawrinka]. I'd like to play Robin, he's good guy," Federer said.

"We practised a lot in December together. We always chat together. I consider him one of the good friends on tour for me and I'd like him to be in the quarter-finals."