In a new interview with the AP, Roger Federer admits that he thinks that rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will surpass his Grand Slam record haul of 20 titles. Nadal is just one behind at 19 but Djokovic is four from the Swiss.
“I think the way it’s going, obviously, Rafa and Novak will win more, because they’re that good. And the season they had (in 2019), again, shows that there is more to come for them.
“Now, at the end, if somebody else would pass you, I mean, I guess it’s OK, because that’s what sports is all about. It’s a lot about numbers. It’s a lot about records. But I had my moment and I always said everything that comes after 15 was, anyway, a bonus. And especially after the knee injury (in 2016), everything that came after that was a bonus. I would have taken one more Slam, and I was able to get three more — and three amazing ones.”
Federer also thinks that regardless of who comes out on top, there will be many more threats to the numbers from generations to come.
“It’s going to happen, inevitably,” Federer said, shaking his head. “And it’s almost not going to be that hard, maybe, anymore, later on, for some reason, I just feel like, because the players will have seen what we did. And they didn’t see just one guy doing it, once every 30 years. They saw like three guys doing it, in the shortest period of time, right after ‘Pistol’ (Sampras). So I just think players are going to believe more. I think maybe the surfaces in some ways also allow you, maybe, if you’re on a hot streak, just to run through more years of domination, like what Novak, Rafa and me, we’ve all done.”
The 38-year-old Federer opens play in Melbourne on Monday against American Steve Johnson. Federer’s last Slam came at the Australian in 2018.
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