Tennis

Rafael Nadal.

Rafael Nadal speaks about matching Roger Federer in Grand Slam wins

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Tennis is unlikely to ever produce another player as dominant on a single surface as Rafael Nadal on clay.

The Spaniard swept aside Stan Wawrinka last Sunday to clinch his tenth French Open crown and become the first player in the Open era to do so at a single Grand Slam tournament.

If winning every set he played throughout the competition wasn't enough, Nadal also registered the second-fewest number of games dropped en route to a major title with 35.

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The 31-year-old has racked up so many astonishing feats over the course of his career that it seems unfair he won’t go down as the greatest player to grace the court.

But as long as Roger Federer hangs on to his pile-topping haul of 18 Grand Slam wins, Nadal will be considered by most to be his runner-up with 15.

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The potential to catch Federer in the limited years he has left on the court must surely be a tempting source of motivation for Mallorca native.

With his Rolland Garros victory prompting talk of his ambition to match his arch-rival, Nadal offered a firm response.

2017 Miami Open - Day 14

"My goal now is to think only about Wimbledon," he said, as quoted on Tennis World USA.

"I don't think about the long term future or complicated things like overcoming Federer.

"Now I am far away. What makes me happy is that I achieved something that it seemed difficult. It brings you positive energy that rewards you after all the work done these months.

"Rather than equalling Federer, my motivation is to keep playing and doing what motivates me, hoping to be healthy. Without physical issues it's all less complicated and the life is more enjoyable. When you had tough moments, in my case injuries, you know what it means."

FEDERER'S REST

Being at a similar stage of his career to Federer, Nadal was also asked if would consider following the Swiss’ lead by sitting out part of the season to prolong his career.

“Everyone does what [they] believe is better.

"This year I skipped Rotterdam after playing [the] Australian Open final. It's risky what Federer did. He can do very well in Wimbledon because he plays great, but it can't always go well every week.

"When you stop playing for three months it's never easy to recover competition rhythm. I think he will do [well] because he plays two tournaments before Wimbledon and he is a very talented player. I don't think I will do the same thing [skipping part of the season].”

FOCUS ON WIMBLEDON

Nadal has announced his withdrawal from the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club after being advised to rest by his doctor, per the BBC.

That leaves plenty of time for the dual Wimbledon champion to prepare his bid for a first title at SW19 in seven years.

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Topics:
French Open
Wimbledon
Novak Djokovic
US Open Tennis
Andy Murray
Tennis
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer

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