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Federer: “I don’t think I’m playing because he’s doing well…”

Roger Federer was asked two days ago if one of the main, motivating reasons he’s still playing at near 40 is to try to protect his 20 Grand Slam singles majors record from being overtaken by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Federer did not give his questioner a certain answer but did give strong praise for his arch rival who has won both Grand Slams this year and broke the record for most consecutive weeks at world no. 1.

“No, I don’t think I’m playing because he’s doing well or he’s doing great things. Same with Rafa. I’m doing my own thing. I had problems with my knee, I’m doing my own thing. It’s very impressive what he’s done in Australia and Roland Garros… There’s always dangers in the draw. He’s able to have different ways how to win matches. He’s done incredibly well. He looks like the big favorite here, going into whatever round he goes into. And he deserves it. He works extremely hard and he’s playing great at the same time, so he’s going to be tough to beat.”

Federer will play Italian Lorenzo Sonego in the fourth round while Djokovic will duel with the Chilean Cristian Garin.

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