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Federer, Nadal Don't Discuss Grand Slam Record

Roger Federer will hear Rafael Nadal's familiar footsteps when the rivals reunite as doubles partners at Laver Cup this weekend.

The 20-time Grand Slam king said Nadal's ongoing pursuit of Federer's Grand Slam record isn't a conversation the pair share.

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The 33-year-old Spaniard fought off Daniil Medvedev in a five-set epic US Open final to capture his 19th Grand Slam title earlier this month closing the gap on Federer in the all-time major race to one.

While the world speculates on who will wind up with most majors—world No. 1 Novak Djokovic denied a pair of championship points to topple Federer in the Wimbledon final for his 16 Slam title—Federer said the rivals don't discuss it.

"That's all we have been talking about," Federer joked during today's Laver Cup launch presser in Geneva. "No, we haven't spoken about it.

"I mean, this is not stuff you really talk about. I think I'm generally happy for Rafa for winning in New York and winning all the other ones that he has and all the Frenches he's won. I don't know. It's just a massive respect I have for Rafa, what he's done, and Björn, what he's done at the Grand Slam level. Djokovic, Sampras, you name it."

Federer said he doesn't view Grand Slams as trying to stay ahead of Nadal or Djokovic, but as opportunities to win for himself and his supporters.

"These are things you can't really control other than when you face each other you try to stop the other guy, but that's also not the point," Federer said. "The point is try to win for yourself and your fans, your team and everything, and try to have your best career.

"I don't feel like it's an elephant in the room. We have not been talking about it, but Rafa maybe has a complete different answer."

Nadal said he enters every tournament with the same objective: to play his best and try to take the title.

"I think we are doing our way. I am doing my way. I'm not going to bed every day and night think about I need to win, you know, a number in particular, no?" Nadal said. "I just try to enjoy the tennis. Tennis is not only Grand Slams, by the way. Of course Grand Slams are so important, but I don't take that way. I just try to give me opportunities to compete well every single event.

"And at the same time, as many Grand Slams we are able to achieve, Roger and me, Novak, all this generation, I think makes our era of tennis a little bit more special, no? So at this point, of course there is Roger, Novak and myself, that we have achieved a lot. That's a special thing for the last 15 years. So let's see what the things can keep going with something that difficult to know."

Photo credit: Christopher Levy