And that is why he wants Federer, 39, and Nadal, 34, to play as long as possible.
He added: “We need the rivalries because we need to measure ourselves in a way. ‘How am I doing?’ ‘How is my biggest rival doing?’ If he is doing great, that actually inspires me.
“That gives me motivation. When I started playing, Roger already had multiple Slams. Rafa as well, and they were kicking my ass for the first five years.
“I was losing most of my matches against them, especially the big ones. And then that changed as we went toe-to-toe, and we are still going toe-to-toe after so many years.
“I want these guys to keep on playing, because they are one of the greatest sources of my motivation, without a doubt.”