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Federer Eyes No. 1 Return...And MIB Role?

Madrid, Spain

Federer, Smith© Getty ImagesRoger Federer attended the Men In Black premiere in Madrid with the movie director, Barry Sonnenfeld, and Hollywood star Will Smith.

After displacing Rafael Nadal at No. 2 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, Roger Federer has set his sights on reclaiming the top spot. It means an offer from Will Smith to operate as a Men in Black agent will just have to wait.

The 30-year-old Federer returned to the Top 2 for the first time since the week of 14 March, 2011 after winning the Mutua Madrid Open title last week. His return comes as a result of a blistering period of form, which has seen him win 45 of his past 48 matches. He has designs on reclaiming the No. 1 spot, a position he held for 285 weeks, but his work is not done yet.

"It's no secret for any player out there that you'd rather be No. 1 than No. 2," said Federer after his three-set win over Tomas Berdych in the Madrid final. When the Basel native was usurped by Nadal in June 2010, he was just one week shy of equalling Pete Sampras’ all-time record of 286 weeks at No. 1.

"It would be absolutely amazing," said Federer, on the prospect of tying Sampras. "I was just trying to stay No. 1. I never really looked at his record that much. If I'm not good enough to beat that record then maybe I never really will be. That's cool. I don't need to beat every record of Pete Sampras. He is my idol after all and I'm just very happy that I’m that close already.

"It's exciting times ahead for me. I've been winning so many tournaments and playing so well that I do believe I can win the Grand Slams coming up now."

Federer’s victory last week saw him equal Nadal’s record of 20 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles. The right-hander has won three of the past four elite tournaments, also triumphing at the BNP Paribas Masters (d. Tsonga) in Paris and two months ago at the BNP Paribas Open (d. Isner) in Indian Wells. At the close of 2011, he captured the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (d. Tsonga) for a record sixth time.

"It's nice to win another one," said Federer, who is the all-time leader with 258 wins at Masters 1000 level. "I've won three of the last four now of the Masters 1000 and the [Barclays ATP] World Tour Finals, so it's been a great streak and that's what I look at."

Federer’s victory in Madrid was watched by his wife, Mirka, and two-year-old twin daughters, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva. "It’s emotional. Obviously as a family man, it's nice," said Federer. "One of the great things with me in my life after everything that I have achieved already is to be able to travel with my family and share it with them, even though they don't quite understand what's happening yet. It's just nice that they are right there with me to share it."

After his victory at La Caja Magica, Federer was joined on court by Hollywood actor Will Smith, who stars in the upcoming film 'Men in Black III'. Smith presented Federer with the suit he wore in the blockbuster film.

"I went to the premier of Men in Black," explained Federer. "We went to Court 3, which is I think the biggest screen in Europe now for 3-D for the Men in Black movie. Will Smith told me that I'm cool enough to be an agent!"

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