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Federer not 'stressed' over Nadal closing in on Grand Slam record

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 18 Sep 2019
  • Federer's coach Severin Luthi says the Swiss isn't worried about Nadal breaking his Grand Slam record
  • The Spaniard moved to within one slam of Federer's record of 20 after winning the U.S. Open
  • The pair will team up for Europe in the Laver Cup this week
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (PA Images)

Roger Federer’s long-time coach Severin Luthi says the Swiss legend isn’t ‘stressed’ about the prospect of Rafael Nadal chasing down his Grand Slam title record.

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Federer began the 2019 season three slams ahead of Nadal in the all-time standings, but the Spaniard has moved to within one major of the 38-year-old’s record haul of 20, winning the French and U.S. Open titles this year.

Nadal has never been this close to Federer’s tally of major titles and would be expected at the very least to equal it at Roland Garros next season - if he doesn’t do it at the Australian Open, or the Swiss can prevail himself in Melbourne.

Nadal’s triumph at the U.S. Open, where he beat Daniil Medvedev in a classic five-set final, has re-ignited the GOAT debate in tennis, with many believing it’s inevitable that the Spaniard will break Federer’s record in the near future.


However Federer, who squandered two match points to win Grand Slam title No. 21 in the Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic, isn’t worried about his great rival surpassing his record - according to coach Luthi.

"No, I don't think he stresses (about Nadal catching him)," Luthi said. "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."

Luthi is the coach of the Swiss Davis Cup team, but Federer and Stan Wawrinka were both absent as the nation lost their Group 1 clash on the weekend to Slovakia in Bratislava.

Switzerland won’t be able to compete in the revamped Davis Cup finals until 2021 at the earliest due to the loss - and Federer’s decision not to play could effect his eligibility to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Speaking on Swiss television ahead of the Laver Cup later this week in Geneva, Federer said he had planned his schedule next year up until Wimbledon, but hadn’t made a decision on the Olympics as of yet - most likely because he’s waiting to hear if he will be awarded a wildcard due to his inactivity in Davis Cup.

"I guess I'm going to be deciding on the Olympic Games in the next few weeks, hopefully in the next month or so," he said.

Federer met his wife Mirka at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, won doubles gold with Stan Wawrinka in 2008 in Beijing and was a silver medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, while he missed the 2016 edition in Rio through injury.

"It's possible but it's not a goal," Luthi added of Federer’s plans for Tokyo. "He will leave it open a little bit. I don't know how it works with (Olympic) wildcards. They used to give them to the small countries, but I think if he said he wanted to play...."

Federer and Nadal are set to team up for Team Europe in the Laver Cup in Geneva, which starts on Friday.


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Federer not 'stressed' over Nadal closing in on Grand Slam record

Roger Federer’s long-time coach Severin Luthi says the Swiss legend isn’t ‘stressed’ about the prospect of Rafael Nadal chasing down his Grand Slam title record.

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