Asked in Dubai if he felt players like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic might break his records, Roger Federer said his achievements are certainly in jeopardy. And if they don’t break them, someone else will.
“Since a long time, yes,” he said of Nadal and Djokovic threatening his records. “This is not new.
“As the surfaces get more equal, everybody can pile up more Grand Slam wins, like I did. It was the reason for me probably to pass Sampras by having the surfaces be more equal.
“My records will be broken anyway,” he said. “Back in the ’70s, I don’t think players were playing for records. Maybe now players are playing for records. Naturally it’s going to depend also on how much they care about that record. If they care about it, they’ll play for longer, other than just retiring. You don’t want to beat up your body too much.
“They’ve been doing amazing things for many years now. That’s why they’re in the position that they are. I wish them the best to achieve all they want to do. I’m still playing, so I hope I still also have something left in the tank.”
Nadal with 17 and Djokovic with 15 could pass Federer’s record 20 Slam titles sometime next year. And Djokovic, who turns 32 in May, is just a little over year from going ahead of Federer in total weeks at No. 1. Federer is currently at 310, Djokovic 240.
This week, Federer is seeking a 100th career title, a mark that Djokovic and Nadal will be hard-pressed to reach. Djokovic is at 73 and would need to average five or so a year for the next five years.
Nadal, who has 80, will have to win at least five for the next four years. But can those to play into their last 30s? If they do, more of Federer’s records will fall.
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