Roger Federer left to rue Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic success as rivals end record run | Tennis | Sport

Roger Federer‘s sublime record of having been ranked at least second in the world at one point in each year since 2002 is over.

The Swiss veteran had been ranked as one of the two best players in men’s tennis at least once in each year between 2003 and now, but that record is now over after Rafael Nadal stole the top spot from Novak Djokovic having been ranked second for the previous period.

The 38-year-old could also be facing his last winter as the most successful male player in history, with Nadal moving to within one Grand Slam title of his record of 20.

Djokovic is also approaching Federer’s record, having won 16 in total after his Australian Open and Wimbledon victories this year.

Despite the numbers suggesting that at least one of Djokovic and Nadal will topple Federer’s tally, Rod Laver is sure that the eight-time Wimbledon champion’s legacy will not be matched.

“He seems to be fine and that’s what counts,” Laver told Swiss newspaper Aargauer in October.

“If you love the game as much as you do, that’s fine.

“I also give Roger a very good chance of winning the Australian Open again in Melbourne in January.

“Nadal, Djokovic and Federer are all big champions.

“But Roger surpasses tennis, the world of sport, and sports in general in a way that no one in history has done before him.

“He is the most recognised athlete in the world and a figurehead for this great game.”

Federer hasn’t won a Grand Slam title since January 2018 and agonisingly missed two match points in his Wimbledon final defeat to Djokovic earlier this year, but he isn’t overly worried about the prospect of losing his status at the top.

“No, I don’t think he stresses [about Nadal catching him],” said Federer’s coach Swiss Luthi in September.

“He focuses on himself.

“He has a lot of respect for Rafa and knows what it takes to win that many titles.

“I don’t see him in any way stressed. He won’t be completely destroyed if Rafa makes the 20.”

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