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Source: Federer says Nadal, Djokovic will pass him

Roger Federer, for one, figures questions about whether Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic - or both? - will surpass his men's record for most grand slam singles titles are moot.
That's because he's sure it's going to happen. And he's OK with that. Ending up in third place, Federer insists, would be just fine.

"I think the way it's going, obviously, Rafa and Novak will win more," Federer said matter-of-factly.
"Because they're that good. And the season they had (in 2019), again, shows that there is more to come for them."

He didn't say this with a wistful sigh or a disappointed glance at the floor or a trace of regret. That's just the way he sees things at the moment.
Entering the Australian Open starting on Monday in Melbourne, Federer leads the list with 20 majors, followed by Nadal with 19 and Djokovic with 16.
Nadal could pull even with Federer for the first time. Whether or not it truly matters who comes out on top when all is said and done, everyone is going to be paying attention to how it shakes out.
Including Federer, who surpassed Pete Sampras' old standard of 14 a decade ago.
Don't mistake an honest outlook for disinterest.
"I guess you do care, to some extent, just because it's normal," Federer said, acknowledging how much it meant to him that Sampras was sitting in the Centre Court stands for his No.15.
"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. It just happened to be like this.
"But of course I knew it was a big, big-time moment in our sport. 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 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."
Nadal, currently world No.1, and Djokovic, who is No.2 ahead of Federer, each won two majors last season.
Djokovic won the Australian Open, beating Nadal in the final, and Wimbledon, beating Federer in the final after saving two championship points.
Nadal won at Roland Garros, beating Federer in the semi-finals, and the US Open, facing neither of the other two.
"I always say the same: I would love to be the one who wins more," Nadal said, "but I am not thinking (about it) and I'm not going to practice every day ... for it."
After his seventh championship in Australia a year ago, Djokovic said: "I do want to definitely focus myself on continuing to improve my game and maintaining the overall wellbeing that I have - mental, physical, emotional - so I would be able to compete at such a high level for the years to come, and have a shot at eventually getting closer to Roger's record."
Federer's most recent grand slam triumph arrived at Melbourne Park in 2018.
He is 38, an age at which no one has won a slam in the professional era; he doesn't feel compelled to quit anytime soon. Still, time is certainly on the side of Nadal, 33, and Djokovic, 32.

"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. "It's a bit of a golden time for tennis right now, no doubt."

Australian Associated Press

Well, old man accepts the inevitable, I doubt he wanted or imagined Rafa and Novak would've split 2 majors apiece in 2019. From undisputed goat to third on the list, I mean third is still pretty darn good, it's just his ego needs time to digest and accept all this.
 

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Well played, Humblerer.

Secretly he knows as well as anyone else, that it's all down to this year. And personally, physically, he knows what winning a slam after the age of 35 really takes.

But publicly, sure, he "assumes" those guys will win multiple slams in their mid-thirties. I mean, he expects them to, so they will have had to screw up badly if they don't manage it, that only stands to reason.

In terms of shifting the pressure of expectation to the opposition, that was a clean backhand topspin winner.
 

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Sneakyrer plays his mind games with his rivals. That can be fun, but that's already starting to seem a little desperate.
 

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Well played, Humblerer.

Secretly he knows as well as anyone else, that it's all down to this year. And personally, physically, he knows what winning a slam after the age of 35 really takes.

But publicly, sure, he "assumes" those guys will win multiple slams in their mid-thirties. I mean, he expects them to, so they will have had to screw up badly if they don't manage it, that only stands to reason.

In terms of shifting the pressure of expectation to the opposition, that was a clean backhand topspin winner.
Yes indeed. All kinds of mind games in this one. Fed knows he does not want to have them pass his records but wants to have pressure off in case it does happen. He does not avoid the elephant in the room, he goes over to it and feed him peanuts. In a way, it makes the fear less fearsome. The unknown more known.

Roger may play very well in this event. Rafa, can take or leave. Djokovic is the only one with real serious pressure to win
 

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It may happen, it may not. I doubt Djokovic will pass Federer but Dull probably will. Sad day for tennis if that happens but I suppose records have to be broken eventually.
 

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He is just saying that so he can come out guns a blazing and win 3 slams in 2020.

He will come out with crutches in the Final against Nadal and proceed to run around like a rabbit and backhands down the line.
 

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Djokovic is 4 behind, so hard to predict if he'll ever get 20 given that he was slamless in 2017....
Why didn’t you look at the last 2 seasons instead of going way back to 2017? You’re cherrypicking stuff right there. And anw Nadal was slamless in 2015 and 2016. What’s your problem? Novak still won 4 of the last 6 slams just to remind you in case you forgot.
 

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I’ve said it several times before, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with ending up the THIRD GREATEST TENNIS PLAYER OF ALL TIME. Rogie will be able to be very proud of his career when all is said and done. The Federesian horde needs to stop being so delusional
 

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Nadal can only catch him on clay and Djoker won't catch him at all. So the all-round GOAT will still be Federer.
 

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People love to imagine him just in constant ruins or that he's devising mindgame conspiracies. Here's a secret - if he had your mindset he wouldnt have won a single slam.
 

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Somewhat surprised Federer admits this. He knows better than any of us mere mortals just how great Rafa and Djokovic are. Federer could have admitted this years ago though.
 

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by the end of this year it is possible that Rafa could have as many US Opens as Rafa - think about that for a second
You don't say.
 

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Not sure why Djokovic is considered to be odds on favourite to catch Fed. Nadal, sure. He's been on Fed's pace per age or higher most of his career, just been a question as to how long his body will hold out.

Marin's matched and now exceeded Del Potro's record at 5 years as the youngest player to win a slam. Certainly didn't see that coming.

I just don't see that continuing. There has to be a breakthrough here somewhere. The young guys can' keep losing forever. Even Thiem, is still younger than Orantes was when he first won a slam, and is still a couple of years younger than Wawrinka. So even generation useless has chances.
 
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