By Segun Oniyide
Roger Federer believes Rafael Nadal is capable of taking hisown record of most Grand Slam wins, but has revealed he still has the hunger and desire to add to his current tally.
Federer has won 17 majors throughout his career and overtook Pete Sampras’ total of 14 in 2009 and Nadal, who lifted the French and US Opens last year to move onto 13 Grand Slams, stands at four majors behind Federer, and at the age of 27 is tipped by many to surpass the current record.
“Could Rafa Nadal eclipse my (Grand Slam) record? Yeah, absolutely,” Federer said on the eve of participating at the Dubai Tennis Championships, which begins on Monday.
“But the good thing is I am still playing and my goal is to add more titles to my count – and not just Grand Slam titles. I love any tennis tournament I play in and Dubai is an important tournament for me.”
Federer is gunning for a sixth crown in Dubai, but is likely to face stiff competition from current champion Novak Djokovic, who is aiming to triumph for a fifth time.
The pair have won the tournament in nine of the past 11 years, and have been placed in the same half of the draw, meaning they could face each other in the semi-finals.
I am playing top tennis. For me it’s just a matter of staying healthy, staying consistent and getting to semis and finals. I feel as if I’m in as good shape as I have been for a year, so that’s very encouraging. I feel my best tennis is around the corner,” Federer said.