Fabrice Santoro has urged Roger Federer to consider playing the French Open at the end of the month to have a better chance of returning to the top of the world rankings before the end of the season.
The Swiss ace has made a strong start to the 2017 season after coming back from a six-month injury layoff in 2016. Federer won his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January before following it up with two Masters Series titles at Indian Wells and Miami.
The 35-year-old has risen from number 17 at the start of the year to world number four in less than three months, and has been backed to return to the summit of the ATP rankings by the end of the year. Federer, however, has made it clear that chasing the number one spot is not his goal as he is more keen on remaining fit and peaking at major tournaments.
The former world number one has decided to almost entirely miss the ongoing clay court swing of the season and is yet to decide whether he will play at the second Grand Slam of the year at Roland Garros. Federer is more keen on remaining fresh for the grass court and American hard court stretch of the season focusing his attention on Wimbledon and the US Open.
Santoro, who is popularly known as 'The Magician', believes Federer should take advantage of his form at the moment and try and win a second Grand Slam before the likes of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray recover from their slump that has seen them exit tournaments early in recent months.
"He knows that he has a chance to be number one at the end of the year, and for that he has two goals, Wimbledon and the US Open," Santoro told Sky Sports
"If he can win a second Grand Slam then he will be close to number one in the world. The French Open is not one of his goals, that's for sure, and we know that at almost 36 years of age it would be very competitive on clay, even though his game has become more and more aggressive.
"Maybe [Novak] Djokovic and [Andy] Murray will not be fantastic in Paris next month but they could be fantastic later on in the year at Wimbledon or the US Open.
"So maybe Federer is reflecting on this in his mind and along with his coach, his wife and the rest of his team to take the decision as to whether or not to play the French."