Swiss legend, Roger Federer accepts a wild card to play at the ABN AMRO World Tennis tournament in Rotterdam after winning his 20th Grand Slam at the Australian Open, last month.
It has been five years since Federer last played at the event. The 36-year old Swiss star announced his surprise entry in the tournament on Wednesday through his official website.
“The tournament is special for me,” said Federer, the two-time winner in Rotterdam. “I remember playing for the first time in 1999 as it was one of the first events where I got the chance to play at the highest level.”
“It feels good to join in the celebrations of the 45th edition.”
The 20 times Grand Slam winner is just 155 points behind his long-time rival Rafael Nadal to secure the first spot at the men’s ATP World Tour rankings. And the ABN AMRO tournament is just the chance for him to be crowned the oldest ever world No. 1 as Rafa is not scheduled to play till the end of this month due to a thigh injury.
Federer can simply reclaim the top spot from the Spaniard by just qualifying the Semifinals in Rotterdam.
Director of the tournament, Richard Krajicek is “thrilled” that the Swiss tennis champion will join the event in Rotterdam.
“After his fantastic result at the Australian Open, it is tremendous news that he will be joining us in Rotterdam. It is a crown to the celebration of the history of our tournament,” said Krajicek.
The great Swiss will be joining his countryman Stan Wawrinka, Alexander Zverev, World no.4 Grigor Dimitrov and defending champion Jo-Wilfried.
Federer currently holds the record for staying at the top rank for the longest time (302 weeks) and the longest consecutive run at the World No.1 (237 weeks).
If Federer re-secures the first rank he will become the oldest top-ranked man in tennis history, surpassing Andre Agassi’s record.