Former world's no.1 Roger Federer shocked most of his loyal fans after he admitted that his archrival Rafael Nadal has the ability to 'eclipse' his Grand Slam haul during a recent interview with Times of India.
Federer, who has racked up 17 Grand Slam championships throughout his legendary tennis career, believed his younger rival can certainly surpass his majors championship collection when everything is said and done.
"Could Rafa eclipse my record? Yeah, absolutely, I think he can. The good thing though is that I'm 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," said Federer, who's looking to add another Grand Slam in the next three major tournaments this year.
Overcoming the Demon
Federer admitted that doubt really came to his mind when things didn't go well last year. However, the Swiss Master is feeling optimistic about the rest of the season, playing with a new racket (bigger frame), new coach Stefan Edberg and rejuvenated back for the first time in two years.
"Doubt, the questions, they're always there, in the best of times and in the worst of times. Everybody deals with it in a different way. Doubts come with loss of confidence, it can be because of injury, bad form or just something you have to deal with as you get older and your body isn't the same as it was," Federer said.
"I believe though, whatever, it may be, if you identify the problem and work on it you'll find a way past it. First you need to admit you have a problem and then deal with the issue. The worst is to walk around pretending all is well, when it's clearly not," the Swiss added.
Federer stressed that becoming on top of the world rankings is not his priority anymore, insisting that only Grand Slam titles and other tournaments victories would only please him.
Not So Fast Nadal
Of course, as great as Nadal has been, Federer is very much aware that Spaniard has all the powers to dethrone him from his seat as the king of tennis. Still, Federer pointed out in the recent interview that he still has something left in the tank and he plans to add more trophies this season.