Federer not trying to eclipse Williams' grand slam tally

Serena Williams has three more slams than Roger Federer, but the Swiss maestro is not trying to hunt down her tally.

Roger Federer and Serena Williams   -  Getty Images

Roger Federer insists that eclipsing Serena Williams' tally of 23 grand slams is not a target for his career and he is just happy the American great is still playing.

Williams is set to return to competitive singles action at the Indian Wells Masters this week having been absent on the WTA Tour since winning last year's Australian Open.

The 36-year-old, who gave birth to her daughter in September, is one of the greatest to have played the game and her 23 major titles is a record for a female player in the Open Era.

No one in the men's game can better Federer's haul of 20, the 36-year-old having won three of the past five slams as part of a stunning renaissance. But for Federer, chasing down Serena's number is not a primary goal.

"The women's game has records in there that are just beyond, like Martina Navratilova, Serena, you name it, or Steffi Graf for that matter, the Golden Slam," he told a news conference after playing the Match for Africa exhibition.

"There are things that are just phenomenal. I always love watching the women's game, but I've never really looked to Serena as wanting to eclipse her in anything. 

"I'm just happy that for both Venus and Serena that they're still playing, because I thought a few years back, or a while ago actually now, when they were not well, they had injuries and worries, that they were going to leave the game much earlier. 

"They hung around and did amazing for the game and I'm just really happy for them, to be quite honest."

Federer played alongside Microsoft owner Bill Gates against Jack Sock and NBC Today show host Savannah Guthrie in San Jose to raise money for his foundation and African charities.

And the Swiss maestro spoke about how he hopes other tennis players will be inspired to help others away from the court.

"I hope that I can leave a legacy, something behind where other players will look up to me and think maybe I wasn't just a tennis player but much more than that," he added. 

"That would be nice because I was inspired by the likes of Tiger Woods, who had a foundation, Andre Agassi had his foundation, it definitely made me also start my own. 

"I hope by me doing something good, Novak [Djokovic], Rafa [Nadal], [Andy] Murray, all the top guys are chipping in and doing their own thing or supporting other foundations. 

"I think it's a wonderful thing and whatever you do, as long as you do it with passion it's all good."

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