Nadal’s high hopes

Rafael Nadal was quick to play down
talk of him overtaking Roger Federer’s record haul of 16 Grand Slams after
winning his first US Open title.

The Spaniard, 24, beat Novak
Djokovic 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2 in New York to earn his ninth Grand Slam crown and
complete his set of winning all four major titles.

Asked about Federer’s tally of 16
Slams, he said: “It’s very far. For me, it’s too far to think about that. I
think talk about if I am better or worse than Roger is stupid.”

Nadal joins Federer, Andre Agassi,
Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, Don Budge and Fred Perry in having won all four Grand
Slams and also becomes the first man since Laver swept the board in 1969 to win
the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in the same year. And at five years
younger than Federer, the Majorcan has time on his side in the pursuit of more
major victories.

“The titles say he’s much better
than me, so that’s true at the moment,” stated Nadal. “I think it will be true
all my life. For me, always Roger was an example, especially because he
improved his tennis I think during all his career, and that’s a good thing that
you can
copy, no?

“So I try to copy this and I know
Roger and me are different, much different styles. Being better than Roger – I
don’t think it’s the right moment to talk about that because I don’t think
that.”

Nadal has now won five French
Opens, two Wimbledons, one Australian and one US Open, as well as an Olympic
gold medal and the Davis Cup.

He admitted that the one
significant title for him still to win is the end-of-year ATP World Tour Finals,
played indoors at London’s O2 Arena in November. “That’s true it’s the most
difficult title for me to win because we play it indoors on a very quick surface,
so it’s always going to be very difficult if we don’t change that.”

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