Roger Federer said Novak Djokovic “doesn’t know where I am” after the Serb claimed he, Federer and Rafael Nadal are all desperate to end their careers with the most major titles.
Roger Federer has issued a response to Novak Djokovic’s comments regarding their Grand Slam tallies.
Swiss maestro Federer is level on 20 major titles with world number one Djokovic, as well as Rafael Nadal.
The Serb was one match away from becoming the most successful men’s singles player in Grand Slam history at the US Open, but was defeated by Daniil Medvedev in the final of the New York event earlier this month.
The crushing loss also denied Djokovic the chance to win all four majors in the same year—a feat last achieved by Rod Laver in 1969.
Assuming they are all healthy, Djokovic, Nadal and Federer will compete at the 2022 Australian Open in January in a bid to reach the magic number of 21 Grand Slam titles. Federer and Nadal have already ended their 2021 season early through injury.
Djokovic recently said on social media that both he, Federer and Nadal will keep playing to see who will finish with the most major crowns.
Federer spoke with GQ Magazine to respond to his rival’s comments, stating those comments were fuelled by adrenaline.
“Well look, he obviously was speaking for himself: he’s on adrenaline when he’s saying that and he doesn’t know where I am or where Rafael is. But he means well, obviously,” he explained.
“It’s going to be very interesting to see, for all three of us, how our careers continue. I mean, it’s amazing, to be honest, that all three of us are at 20 Grand Slams. Wow.
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“But I think the others are in a different mindset to me at the moment. I think all of us would obviously like to win more and do more, because that’s what you need to be like at this level.
“Losing in the quarters of Wimbledon normally is not good enough, but, for me, you know, the road has been hard and long and so my perspective is a little bit different.”
Federer’s last match came in the aforementioned Wimbledon quarter-final defeat by Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in July.
Federer is an eight-time champion at the All-England Club and gave an assessment of his performance there this year.
Despite not being in peak physical condition and the disappointing loss, Federer was grateful to be able to play and hear the roar of the Centre Court crowd once again.
“Losing is never fun. And it should hurt. You know, I feel like if you’re OK with losing, I feel like your days are already numbered”, he disclosed.
“But I think it was a mixture of disappointment, anger at what I should have done, or could have done, differently, not just in the last 20 minutes of the game but over the last six months, for that matter. There are so many thoughts going through your head at that point.
“Looking back a little bit, I’m actually very grateful, very happy I was just able to play.
“It’s been hard with the double knee surgery I had last year and rehab was really slow. And, look, in some ways I wish I would have been in better shape for Wimbledon this year.
“But at the end of the day, I made the quarters – I played Wimbledon! Still! You can never take that sort of thing for granted.”
Federer was in attendance at the Laver Cup in Boston this past weekend and witnessed Team Europe demolish Team World 14-1 to retain the trophy.
During an interview with former player Jim Courier, the 40-year-old gave an update on his recovery from knee surgery.
“Now I’ve just got to take it step by step,” Federer said. “I’ve got to first walk again properly, run properly and then do the sidesteps and all the agility work and then eventually I’ve got to be back on the tennis court.
“But it’s going to take me a few more months and then we’ll see how things are at some point next year.
He added: “I’ve got to take my time. I don’t want to rush into anything at this point. This is also for my life. I want to make sure I can do everything I want to do later on.
“There’s no rush with anything, so I’m actually in a really good place. I think the worst is behind me.”