Stanislas Wawrinka could play an important role in deciding whether Roger Federer would become the new world number one or not. Both of them might will face each other in the quarter-finals of the 2018 Rotterdam Open if they win all their matches.
The current world number two needs to make it to the semi-finals to topple current incumbent Rafael Nadal for the top spot but he would need to defeat his compatriot in order to create history by becoming the oldest world number one.
Federer is hoping that he gets to play Wawrinka in the last eight as it will make his achievement more meaningful, but the latter is not focusing on his potential battle with his compatriot but his own return to full fitness.
Similar to Federer in 2017, the Swiss number two is returning from a six-month injury layoff due to a knee injury which required surgery that saw him miss the second half of last season. Wawrinka lost in the second round at the Australian Open and in the semi-finals in his last event – the Sofia Open in Bulgaria and will hope for a better run in the Netherlands.
The 32-year-old is delighted for Federer, who is on the cusp of making history but is focused on his first-round match against Dutch youngster Tallon Griekspoor. The three-time men's singles Grand Slam winner is using the Rotterdam event to get back into full fitness in the hope of returning to challenge for major titles in the near future.
"For Roger, that would be an incredible thing," Wawrinka said referring to Federer potentially becoming the new world number one following the conclusion of the Rotterdam Open this week, as quoted by the Express.
"But for me, only the first round counts. I'm on the right track, but far from my top form," the Swiss, three-time men's singles Grand Slam winner added.