Roger Federer has given cold comfort to the next generation of men’s players hoping for Grand Slam glory, saying he, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are still deserving favourites to claim the game’s biggest trophies.
The top three seeds at Melbourne Park raffled all four of the majors between them last year, with Federer winning his sixth Australian Open, Nadal claiming his 11th French Open and world number one Djokovic sweeping Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
The Swiss master is bidding for his 21st Grand Slam crown and a hat-trick of Melbourne titles this year, and he sailed into the third round on Wednesday with a straight sets win over British qualifier Dan Evans.
Before the tournament, top seed Djokovic declared the three should be favourites to win the Slams, and Federer agreed when asked after his Evans match.
“Yes, I guess so,” the third seed told reporters.
“I mean, look, I think we know how to win Slams, Novak, Rafael, myself. I mean, Rafael has to be the number one favourite, I don’t care how he feels, before the French.
“Novak is always a favourite on the hard courts, basically any court if he’s feeling 100 per cent, if he plays like last year.
“Maybe just because of my amount of titles I have at Wimbledon and other places, maybe also have to put me in the mix every time, as well.”