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'I will play for the longest time possible to increase my number of titles," says Roger Federer

Roger Federer celebrates

Roger Federer says he, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic will play 'for as long a time as possible' as he gave a rare hint that the Grand Slam record matters to him.

Federer has always appeared to be relatively relaxed about his 20 Grand Slam titles and the place in history that will afford him.

Whilst he has been out of the tennis for a year as he battled injury, though, he has seen Nadal equal his Grand Slam count and Djokovic surpass him for world number one, and it may have lit a little fire under the Swiss star.

Speaking to the press in Qatar ahead of his comeback this week, Federer was asked why he thought the younger players had always failed to step up and challenge them by winning majors.

He, though, does not see a lack of talent in tennis, he just thinks they have been unfortunate to play during the same era as himself, Djokovic, and Nadal - and he hopes the Big Three era won't be ending any time soon.

"The problem for the new generation is that Novak, Rafa, and I were unable to play in a different way," he said.

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"One of the them might defeat me but fail to defeat Novak, or beat Novak but fail to beat Rafa, or beat Rafa but fail to beat me.

"I believe we will see a major change after three years.

"But I know that Rafa, Novak and I will try to stand fast for the longest time possible and will try to increase the number of our titles."

Federer has won 103 titles in his career so far, just six short of Jimmy Connors' all-time record.

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