Roger Federer has revealed that being the world number one yet again has always been a milestone for him since his return from injury in 2017, else he would not have participated in the Rotterdam Open.
The 36-year-old became the oldest world number one in tennis following his quarter-final victory over Robin Haase at Rotterdam, the tournament he went on to win for the third time in his career. He broke Andre Agassi's long standing record – the American was 33 when he reached the summit in 2003.
Federer beat Rafael Nadal to the number one rank, with the players only separated by a mere 155 points before Rotterdam. The Spaniard had managed to hold on to his spot at the top after reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, which was eventually won by Federer. His win at Melbourne marked his 20th singles Slam, only the fourth player to do so in history.
His latest foray into the top of the ATP charts for the fourth time in his career will see him extend his record of 302 weeks at the top, followed by the likes of 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.
However, having achieved what seemed like an impossible task following his knee injury, he does not have any future records that he wishes to match and will take them as and when they come his way. He went on to thank his coaches and the entire team for being there with him through thick and thin and clarified that it was not a whim to participate in Rotterdam.
"That means a lot to me. Otherwise, I would not have participated in the tournament in Rotterdam. Some experts have said that I had totally turned everything around to be in Rotterdam. But at the end of last year I had in mind that maybe I'm playing there and not in Duba," Federer told German publication Noz.
"But even more, it's thanks to the entire team and the coaches over all these years. They pushed me forward, they helped me, they inspired and motivated me. So it is a moment for all, where you are at the top of the podium. That is very special. It is a record.
"Either it happens [breaking other records], or it does not happen. But I do not have any records that concern me now. If, then they come on their own."