Roger Federer is hoping to become the oldest player to ever reach No. 1. (AP)
Roger Federer, who could get back to No. 1 next month, plans to decide this week whether to play the ATP event in Dubai, which could significantly help him to move in front of Rafael Nadal.
Federer currently has 9,605 points, and stands behind Nadal's 9,760 points. But Nadal will have 300 points from the Acapulco tournament coming next month, more than the 45 points Federer has coming from the same week's event at Dubai, which could see the ranking change hands.
Federer would move in front should Nadal not play or get to at least the semifinals of Acapulco, and would secure No. 1 if he wins the Dubai title.
While his participation at the tournament would partly depend on appearance fees, the potential to reach the top ranking could be a further incentive. He said he had told organizers he would decide following the Australian Open.
"We were in talks with them but when the tournament started, I just said 'look, if it's OK, I'd like to decide after,’" he was quoted as saying by Reuters. "That's an ideal scenario for me.”
Nadal, who retired with injury at the Australian Open, is in some doubt for Acapulco, but has said he plans to return for the event.
Federer would not have another shot at No. 1 until the clay events, and has recently not played a full schedule during that period of the season.
He has not officially entered Dubai, and would need a wild card to join the field, which has a few big name players.