On Sunday, Rafael Nadal emerged victorious at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, winning the US Open tournament. The title would be his fourth US Open title, and also his 19th major grand slam, placing him one number behind all-time highest Roger Federer who has a total of 20. The game which lasted almost 5 hours saw Nadal beat Russian Daniil Sergeyevich Medvedev 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4.
At the end of the game, Nadal was overcome with joy, especially towards the part where a series of his achievements were played on the big screens in the stadium, and a victorious Nadal even shed some tears. The gameplay was quite tough, with Medvedev winning two sets, but he was no match for the Spanish who has seen better games.
However, and perhaps surprisingly, Nadal has declared no interest in matching with Federer for 20 grand slams or even toping him. But he stated expressly that he does not have that as a target, and is rather focused on playing games, and deriving joy from it.
Speaking to newsmen after the game, Nadal said “I always say the same: I would love to be the one who wins more, but I am not thinking,” suggesting that for him, it is more than titles, even though he would love always to emerge victoriously. He also further stated, “I feel honored to be part of this battle…” implying that he recognizes the race among him, Federer, and world number one Novak Djokovic. He then went on to say, “But I really believe that I will not be happier or less happy if that happens or does not happen…I am playing tennis because I love to play tennis.”
That is the kind of mindset that has kept the world number two going. He is not, in any way announcing his retirement or saying he would not take part in grand slams, but that he is not pressured about a 20th title or making a conscious effort to win it.
We just have to pay attention to his actions and see him in his next tournament to see if he clinches grand slam number 20.
Rafael Nadal is available at 4.25 to win the Australian Open ahead of Roger Federer, who is available at 7.75
Written by: Leon Osamor