I can’t protect Grand Slam record forever, says Federer
Roger Federer admits he cannot protect his men’s Grand Slam singles record forever after an “incredible opportunity missed” saw Novak Djokovic close the gap at Wimbledon on Sunday.
Djokovic beat Federer 6-7(5) 6-1 6-7(4) 6-4 13-12(3) to claim his 16th Grand Slam in what was the second longest final in SW19 history.
- Djokovic downs Federer in classic after historic decisive tie-break
- 'I'm getting closer' - Djokovic nears Federer tally with 16th Slam title at Wimbledon
- Djokovic deserves more respect, says Becker
Victory moves Djokovic within two slams of Rafael Nadal and four behind Federer, who admitted straight after the match he will “try to forget” how close he came to Grand Slam No 21, which would have also made him the oldest man to win a major in the Open Era.
And the 37-year-old, who missed two championship points on serve in the final set, conceded that holding the all-time men’s singles record in the future will be out of his control.
"It used to be a really, really big deal, I guess when you were close," Federer said. "I guess two behind, then eventually you tie, then eventually you break. That was big.
"It's been different since, naturally because the chase is in a different place.
" I take motivation from different places. 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 added: "I didn't become a tennis player for that.
"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."