Roger Federer, winner of 20 Grand Slams titles has not doubt that on current form that contemporaries Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will surpass his tally to grand slams titles. Federer, who is the leading Grand Slam winner in the history of professional tennis, is followed by Nadal and Djokovic, who hold 19 and 16 wins respectively.
Nadal had a superlative 2019 winning the US Open and the French Open titles, while Djokovic is the defending champion of the Australian Open having won in the previous year for his 16th Grand Slam. Federer, on the other hand, last won a Grand Slam the year before at Melbourne Park – in 2019.
“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,” Federer told AP.
Federer knows what it’s like to be overtaking someone to lead the pack. Almost 10 years ago, it was Federer, who surpassed Pete Sampras’ tally of 14, which was then a world record. Although he is certain he will no longer be the leading grand slam winner in time to come, Federer admits it is something close to his heart, citing the varied emotions he felt when he went past Sampras so many years ago.
“I guess you do care, to some extent, just because it’s normal,” Federer said. “I looked up to him so much that I felt, also, uncomfortable maybe, sometimes, breaking his records. It’s not something I ever wanted to do. But of course I knew it was a big, big moment. And I think those are the moments you will remember.
“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 records. But I had my moment and I always said everything that comes after 15 was, anyway, a bonus. 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.”
At 38, Federer may not have much time left in his career but he still doesn’t feel like retiring yet. With a five-six year advantage over him, Nadal and Djokovic have time on their side and Federer believes the two can really step it up a notch.
“I honestly think it’s going to be quite exciting to see how much longer can they go. How much more can they win? They might have some more incredible years ahead of them. That’s my assumption,” Federer said.
“I was hoping to maybe have one major, to be quite honest. It’s just stuff that eventually builds. So, there’s a group of guys that I see now probably winning at least, four or five majors — which can lead to 15.