Federer welcomes shake-up at the top
Roger Federer invited fresh challengers to step forward and warned Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal that landing major titles may prove a little harder now he's back to world No.1.
Federer says Andy Murray's close call at Wimbledon confirms the Scot very much belongs "in the conversation" and that the shake up at the top means tougher times ahead for Djokovic and Nadal.
The Serb and the Spaniard had contested the previous four grand slam finals in yet another first in tennis' golden era.
But after slipping to second and third in the rankings overnight, the demoted duo will no longer be seeded at the top and bottom of big tournament draws.
Just as Federer and Murray had only clashed once since 2010 before meeting in the Wimbledon final on Sunday, the rankings adjustments will ensure it's less likely that Djokovic and Nadal will square off in major finals until there's another change in world order.
"The four of us have been beating each other so often for, what is it, the last five years now," Federer noted as he basked in the glory of his record-equalling seventh Wimbledon triumph.
"Is it an advantage to be (ranked) one, two, three or four? As of late, it's been maybe an advantage to be one or two a little bit slightly.
"It changes the dynamics now and all of a sudden we'll see different semi-finalists. It's going to be harder for Novak and Rafa now to find themselves in the finals now because they might face each other in the semis."
Although the newly restored world No.1 and Djokovic and Nadal have now won 29 of the past 30 grand slam events, Federer is adamant Murray will inevitably break through.
"Murray for me was always in the conversation. I was actually a bit shocked when people were talking just about the big three," he said.
"I know we are the ones with the grand slam trophies and Andy is not but for me that doesn't matter. I know how close he was in the past.
"I definitely believe that Murray is part of that elite group and with this final here as well from Andy, I hope he sees it in a positive way that now he's already done the final so let's go a step further.
"That's going to make the dynamics quite interesting as well."
All up, the Swiss ace has trumped a dozen different rivals in grand slam finals and the 30-year-old welcomes the wave of new threats emerging.
He said others should use world No.100 Lukas Rosol's inspired second-round defeat of Nadal and Ernests Gulbis' first-round removal of former finalist Tomas Berdych at the All England Club as a spur.
rest of the group, the top-100 players, I hope maybe that brings more
belief to the table against the top players," Federer said.