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I would have won the same number of Slams even in the absence of Nadal or Djokovic, says Roger Federer

The Swiss maestro won 17 grand slam titles in his illustrious career.

News 06 Dec 2016, 20:45 IST
Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League : News Photo
Federer has suffered at the hands of Nadal numerous times

As much as tennis fans appreciate sizzling rivalry between legends, a great rival can also arguably be considered a major roadblock to inflating the number of Slam titles for any player at the top tier. A case in point being Rafael Nadal, who has long been singled out as the primary reason why his nemesis Roger Federer has not been able to add to his tally of 17 Grand Slam crowns.

Even Todd Woodbridge, the former doubles maestro has echoed the same thoughts. The Australian has recently opined that if it were not for the Spaniard, Federer would have grabbed four or five more Roland Garros titles which itself would have helped him surpass the 20-Slam mark.

Over the course of their careers, the southpaw met the Swiss in eight Major finals of which six went to Rafa with the 14-time Grand Slam champion holding an overall 23-11 head-to-head edge over Federer. 

In recent times, though, it has been Novak Djokovic who has been a frequent conqueror of Federer in Major finals. The two have contested four finals at the grandest stage so far of which the last three have all gone Djokovic’s way.

Certainly, it won’t be unfair to say that the likes of Nadal and Djokovic have stopped Federer from achieving more.

However, the man himself thinks otherwise, according to Spanish publication Punto de Break. The presence of his great rivals has played no role in curbing the number of Slams he could have won as somebody else would have definitely been there, the maestro has clearly stated. Roger, being respectful of his foes as always, has even said that had they been absent, he would not have been motivated enough to have the incredible success he has had.

“I really think if they had not been, someone else would have been there, or maybe they would not have motivated me to have the career I’ve had,” Roger stated. “I do not know how to explain it, but I think I’d have the same number of titles with or without them,” he added.

Federer excited to return to the circuit

Federer’s legions of fans are waiting eagerly to see him back on the court after a year ravaged with injury. The 35-year-old had to undergo a knee surgery early in the year, the rehabilitation of which forced him to wrap up his season right after playing the Wimbledon Championships. The inactivity also effected a slide in his rankings with the legend being ranked a lowly 16th currently.

He was supposed to make a soft return at the India leg of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) this month before making his official comeback at January’s Hopman Cup. But due to demonetization and an unfavourable economic situation in India, the superstar had to pull out of the high-profile exhibition event.

All Federer admirers, who now have to wait a bit more to see him back, will be happy to know that the tennis ace himself is feeling very confident ahead of his resumption of competitive play. The former World No. 1 has trained well and has admitted to being ‘excited’ to return to the circuit.

“I can only see in what conditions I am returning to the competition since I have not played since the Wimbledon, but I am very excited to return to the tracks, I have trained so much and I cannot wait to play matches again,” he said.

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