Former World No. 1 Andy Roddick has insisted that Roger Federer wants to be ahead of his arch-rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic and maintain his lead in overall Grand Slam titles.

With the win at the 2018 Australian Open, Federer had claimed his 20th Grand Slam but ever since that victory, he has not added any more major titles to his account. On the other hand, Nadal reduced the deficit by securing wins at the Roland Garros and US Open this year and now, he is just one Grand Slam away from equaling the Swiss Master. 

Djokovic, who has won four out of the last six Grand Slams, has a tally of 16 major titles to his name. 

"I think for him the heartbreak probably comes in (knowing) health isn’t guaranteed for him forever. Every year that passes, you’re one year closer to the finish. I’m sure he wanted to put some distance between him, Rafa (Nadal), and Novak. I mean, these guys are playing for more than an individual title right now,” said Roddick.

Federer has always made it clear that the numbers and records do not matter to him and they are not the reason for his presence in tennis even at 38. 

However, Roddick believes that with the rate at which Nadal and Djokovic are winning Grand Slams, the two will definitely surpass Federer at some point. The 2003 US Open winner also suggested that whenever the Big Three play against each other, the match ends up giving a memorable and significant experience to the tennis fans and their battles add further to the glory of the sport's history.

Roger Federer in action in Shanghai recently Roger Federer in action in Shanghai recently Photo: AFP / HECTOR RETAMAL

"They’re kind of marching through (the) history books, so I’m sure (Federer) would’ve loved that buffer there at Wimbledon. Every match that these guys are playing against each other has so much significance as far as the history of our game," Roddick, who was the last American man to win a Grand Slam, added.

Earlier in an interview, another U.S. tennis star, James Blake, had spoken about Federer's current situation. Blake had suggested that the loss in the Wimbledon 2019 final to Djokovic "kind of broke" Federer. 

"Roger is one of the best I've ever seen at having a short memory and putting it behind him. That one, for him to even admit that it kind of broke him a bit, you know how devastating that was. … He and (Pete) Sampras are the two best I've ever seen with finishing a match - win or lose - and be done with it and worrying about the next one," the former World No. 4 added. 

Federer, who was aiming to claim his 21st Grand Slam title, lost a thrilling five-setter to Djokovic. The match that lasted for four hours ended at 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 4-6, 13-12 in the favor of the Serbian.