Roger Federer has refused to accede to the suggestion that he is the best player in the world following his return to the top of the ATP rankings. The Swiss ace came from being a set down to beat Robin Haase in the quarter-finals of the Rotterdam Open 4-6 6-1 6-1 on Friday (16 February).
The 36-year-old replaces Rafael Nadal to the top of the ATP rankings for the first time since 2012 and eclipses Andre Agassi as the most senior player to reach the summit of the sport. In doing so, he will add further gloss to his remarkable record of 302 weeks at the top of the table, more than any other player.
Federer will now extend his record at the top as Nadal looks to reclaim his crown when he takes the stage at the Mexico Open, starting on 26 February. Federer's record of 302 weeks at the top is followed by Pete Sampras with 286 weeks, Ivan Lendl with 270, Jimmy Connors with 268, Novak Djokovic with 223, John McEnroe with 170 and Nadal with 167.
This would be Federer's fourth stint at the top of the ATP rankings and this current achievement as world number one has also set the gap from his previous stint at the top on 4 November, 2012 at 5 years and 106 days, the longest in tennis history.
However, despite all his achievements, he said he is not willing to take up the crown of the best player in the world as he is not comfortable with it. He talks about how tennis has changed in the years and that he would rather keep playing than think about his standing among the best players in the sport.
"I don't wake up thinking that I am the best player in the world, I don't feel comfortable with it, and it's not true either, I am still playing and we will never know who will come after me," Federer said, as quoted by Tennis World USA.
"Times changed a lot, Grand Slams are a lot more important than before. Years ago, you didn't come to Australia for a tournament [during] Christmas (Australian Open)."