As he pushes on to regain the world number one ranking, Roger Federer has credited all his coaches – present and past – for their efforts over the last decade to keep him fit and motivated to be able to continue playing at the highest level.
The Swiss ace is just two wins away from toppling Rafael Nadal from the top of the ATP men's singles ranking following his win over Ruben Bemelmans in the first round of the Rotterdam Open. Federer will play Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round and if he wins, he will come up against the winners of Robin Haase and Tallons Griekspoor in the quarter-finals.
A win in the last eight of the event in Rotterdam will see him crowned the world number one when the rankings are revised on Monday (19 February). Federer's arrival at the top spot will be a culmination of an incredible comeback from the knee injury that kept him out of action for six months in 2016.
Since his return in January 2017, Federer has displayed a new aggressive brand of tennis, ensured that he remained fit for all the key tournaments by playing a limited schedule and that has earned him eight titles including three Grand Slams to take his tally to 20.
Federer lauds his team for helping him reach the cusp of returning to the top of the world rankings after having started 2017 as the world number 18. The Swiss tennis legend, however, is not taking anything for granted and will only celebrate one he reaches his target.
"I think it will be unbelievable for my team, you know," Federer said, as quoted by the Express. "Maybe more so than for myself personally, but a lot of guys have put in so much work over the last decade and so forth."
"For all my coaches for that matter, you know, that I was able to stay motivated and keep going for as long as I have and then to reward everybody along the way with maybe a world number one would be very special, regardless of whether I make it or not.
"It just would look nice to be world number one again. But I'm not there yet, it's not going to be easy, I know that, world number one has never been easy, so I'm going to try and see what happens this week," the eight-time Wimbledon champion added.