Roger Federer can return to the top of the tennis world rankings by the end of the year, according to tennis legend Boris Becker.

The 35-year-old has had a dream start to 2017, winning his first Grand Slam in the Australian Open since 2012, defeating longtime rival Rafael Nadal in the final.

Federer then went on to win titles in Indian Wells, defeating fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka in the final, and in Miami, where he defeated Nadal once again.

Federer, who returned from a six month lay-off after a knee injury in January, has claimed that he will be clever in terms of scheduling his matches as he seems to be benefiting greatly with the new strategy, winning 19 of his last 20 ties.

The former world number one's recent performances have also seen him climb from 17th to fourth in the world rankings in a matter of three months, and Becker believes Federer can end the year in top spot.

"If Roger [Federer] plays at the level he showed in the last three months, he has high hopes of finishing the year as number one in the world," Becker said, as quoted on ESPN ( in Spanish).

"I think, first of all, it was him who was shocked after being injured for half a year. He's over 35, I think no one expected him to achieve this performance explosion."

Federer will now take a ten-week break as he will return to action at Roland Garros, which begins 22 May.

Becker also commented on Novak Djokovic's recent struggles, agreeing with former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic that the Serbian can get back on track.

"He's a too big of a champion and too strong of a player not to discover what made him strong," he explained, as quoted on TennisWorldUSA. "He had a difficult start, but the year is long."