Roger Federer is just three matches away from the No. 1 ranking. He can reclaim the top spot in Rotterdam—surpassing Andre Agassi as the oldest-ever men's No. 1—by making the semifinals.
Here is the 36-year-old's most likely path to the top:
Round 1: Ruben Bemelmans
Roger Federer starts his campaign against a qualifier. The match will be scheduled for Wednesday 7.30 pm! pic.twitter.com/aj17mqADYz— ABN AMRO WTT (@abnamrowtt) February 9, 2018
While this is the best-possible first round for Federer, 30-year-old Bemelmans could be dangerous since the two have never played each other. Let's not forget that it was a qualifier, Evgeny Donskoy, who shocked Federer in Dubai last year.
Round of 16: Philipp Kohlschreiber
Federer is 12-0 for his career against world No. 36 Kohlschreiber. The 34-year-old German outlasted Karen Khachanov in a third-set tiebreaker in his first round. Given Federer's record and fresh legs, he probably won't have too much to worry about.
Quarterfinals: Robin Haase
Provided the draw held up, the last player between Federer and the top ranking was going to be Stan Wawrinka. Wawrinka has never beaten Federer on a surface that isn't clay—not that it matters though, Wawrinka was ushered out in the first round by wildcard Tallon Griekspoor.
Federer's now most-likely quarterfinal opponent is going to be Robin Haase, against whom Federer is 2-0.
In Montreal last year, Haase had to correct the fans, who kept saying "Come on, Roger!"
If Federer reaches the semifinals—becoming No. 1 for the first time since 2012—he'd then be projected to play Alexander Zverev in the semifinals and No. 2 seed Grigor Dimitrov for his 97th career ATP title.
This Week on Tennis Channel Plus 2/12
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