Roger Federer on Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s recent feats: ‘What they’ve done is extraordinary’
Roger Federer has paid tribute to his great rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, saying the fact that they are still “at their peak is great for tennis and the debate” about the greatest tennis player of all time (GOAT).
The 39-year-old Federer will make his return to competitive tennis at the Doha Open this week after more than a year out injured.
While he was on the sidelines, Nadal equalled his record of 20 Grand Slams when he won the French Open last year while Djokovic eclipsed his record for most weeks spent at No 1 on Monday as the Serbian moved to 311 weeks at the top of the ATP Rankings.
Many believe the trio will go down as tennis’ three greatest players, but it is often a heated debate when it comes to who will be crowned the all-time GOAT.
When asked about the debate after Djokovic and Nadal’s recent achievements, Federer replied: “I think it’s a great debate to have. What Novak and Rafa have done, as of late, is extraordinary.
“They are not 25 either. They are able to back it up. Novak did it again in Australia and Rafa again did it at Roland Garros. They seem [to be] at their peak which is great for tennis and it is great for the debate. My concern is more [on] my own game, my own health over the record, to be honest.
“I think for them, maybe this is bigger than for me at this moment because for me, it was very important the closer I was getting to Pete Samparas’ record… Once you have it, you try to do your best and that is what I tried to do. But for them, maybe I am the measuring stick like Pete was for me.
“I am in a different situation but sure, you like to keep every record. But all the records are there to be broken. The guys are unreal, we all know that. I hope they keep on going. I hope they can do everything they possibly want and that they look back with no regrets… We want to leave the game with no regrets and I think, from that standpoint, we all sleep very well at night.”
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