Roger Federer was in contemplative mood after his gut-wrenching loss to Novak Djokovic at the Wimbledon 2019 finals and weighed in on the GOAT race between him, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Roger Federer had two Championship points at 8-7 in the fifth set but squandered them as the match went on to a tie breaker that Novak Djokovic won easily.
Speaking after the encounter in his post-match presser, the Swiss great weighed in on the GOAT race which he currently leads with 20 grand slams to his name – but with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic closing in fast on 18 and 16 respectively.
‘Well, I mean, used to be a really, really big deal, you know, I guess when you were close,’ he said of the Grand Slam record.
‘I guess two behind, then eventually you tie, then eventually you break. That was big.’
He then referenced Nadal and Djokovic, who were hot on his heels in chasing down the record he set.
‘It’s been different since, naturally because the chase is in a different place. I take motivation from different places, you know.
‘Not so much from trying to stay ahead because I broke the record, and if somebody else does, well, that’s great for them. You can’t protect everything anyway,’ he concluded.
Federer then diffused the talk about the Grand Slam record, stating that he didn’t make a career in professional tennis for that reason. Instead, he said, it was more centered around the experiences that come from playing on such a coveted stage.
‘I didn’t become a tennis player for that [chasing the GOAT tag].
‘I really didn’t. It’s about trying to win Wimbledon, trying to have good runs here, playing in front of such an amazing crowd in this Centre Court against players like Novak and so forth. That’s what I play for’