Roger Federer returns to action after his successful Australian Open campaign with this week's Rotterdam Open, the season's first ATP 500 tournament, starting on Monday (February 12).
The 20-time Grand Slam champion was initially not part of the field in Rotterdam but was handed a wild card. He will now start the tournament as the top seed.
Federer all set to dethrone Nadal
The 36-year-old Federer heads into the tournament with a chance of displacing arch-rival Rafael Nadal from the top spot and thereby becoming the oldest world number one. Andre Agassi holds the record, as became number one at 33 in September 2003.
With 9,605 points, Federer trails Nadal by only 155 points. Notably, the Spaniard, who was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open quarter-final last month, will not return to action before the Mexican Open in Acapulco later this month.
The Swiss legend will become the numero uno of men's singles tennis for the first time since November 2012 if he manages to reach at least the semi-final of the tournament.
Federer to face Wawrinka in quarter-final?
Federer, though, has been handed a tough draw as he finds himself in the same half as 2015 champion Stanislas Wawrinka and world number four Alexander Zverev. He will start his campaign against qualifier Ruben Bemelmans on Tuesday, February 13.
The ageless veteran has had a good run in the past in Rotterdam. The two-time champion [2005 and 2012] has a 23-6 record at the tournament and has never lost before the quarter-final stage. This year, he is likely to face compatriot Wawrinka in the last-eight stage.
Australian Open quarter-finalist Grigor Dimitrov, world number seven David Goffin, Tomas Berdych and Lucas Pouille are part of the lower-half of the draw. Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has withdrawn due to a hamstring injury.
Live streaming and TV coverage
- Worldwide Live Streaming: Tennis TV
- India: TV - Sony ESPN; Live streaming - Sony LIV
- UK: TV - Sky Sports; Live streaming - Sky Go
|1. Roger Federer|
|2. Grigor Dimitrov|
|3. Alexander Zverev|
|4. David Goffin|
|5. Stanislas Wawrinka|
|6. Tomas Berdych|
|7. Lucas Pouille|
|9. Gilles Muller|
Key first-round matches to watch out for
- Tomas Berdych  vs Mischa Zverev - Not before 1:30 pm local time, 6 pm IST, 12:30 pm GMT
- Alexander Zverev  vs David Ferrer - 7:30 pm local time, 12 am IST [Tuesday], 6:30 pm GMT
- Roger Federer  vs Ruben Bemelmans -- Tuesday, February 13
- Grigor Dimitrov  vs Yuichi Sugita -- Tuesday, February 13