Sydney, Jan 24 (ANI): World No.1 Roger Federer has said that he is aware that a younger generation of tennis players is poised to challenge him for grand slam glory.
Federer entered fourth round of the Australian Open after defeating Albert Montanes in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. But he now has another mountain to climb, for this tournament is like all those Federer plays; it is all largely a precursor to the moment he confronts Rafael Nadal.
"We have guys now that as they get older, they're gonna win bigger tournaments and have more experience - Del Potro, Murray, Djokovic, and all those guys," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Federer, as saying.
"They were just coming out of their teens and you can't expect them right away to win slams. Now they're all in a good age where normally you either make your move or, you know, you definitely have a chance," he said.
"So that's what we're looking at the moment. A few guys have already won slams. That's not an easy thing to do, because, I mean, Rafa and myself are still around and making it extremely hard for guys to take home any slams. Because over five sets in two weeks, I think we know best how it works," Federer added.'
The emergence of that generation of players signifies a new phase in the career of arguably the best tennis player the world has seen.
"I obviously loved the time when I was dominating and winning 10 to 12 tournaments a year and not losing to any top-10 player. I mean, those were fantastic times for me," he said.
"Then again, it was also nice going through the time with the incredible rivalry I had with Rafa ... I think today it's a completely different situation. I'm still at the top of the rankings and I like to be challenged. That's what makes me better," Federer said. (ANI)