US Open 2013: After 13th Major title, is Rafael Nadal favourite to surpass Roger Federer's tally?
Zee Media Bureau/Feroz Khan
New Delhi: Rafael Nadal has now 13 Major titles to his name after winning the US Open defeating Novak Djokovic in the final on Monday.
In 2013 alone, he has won 10 titles, registered 60 victories while tasting defeat on just three occasions. He hasn’t lost a match on hard courts this year – a winning streak that stands at 22. The Spaniard has achieved all this after enduring tough times during which it was speculated that at a young age of 27 years, his tennis career might have ended.
After winning his eighth French Open title, Rafa lost to unheralded Steve Darcis in the first round of Wimbledon championships.
He left the bittersweet comeback experience behind and laid his claim for a second US Open title remaining undefeated on hard courts.
By the time the tournament ended, Nadal was photographed smiling while taking a bite of the US Open trophy.
An incredible comeback from another career threatening injury was complete and hopes took flight with some even suggesting that he might even achieve a calendar Grand Slam – a prospect he has politely refused to acknowledge.
However, another record is lurking on the horizon.
Nadal is 27 and five years younger than Swiss legend Roger Federer who seems to be past his prime.
Federer has 17 Major singles titles and it increasingly looks highly unlikely that he will be able to add another major trophy to his shining cabinet. This ultimately leads to another prospect whether his record of most Grand Slam titles can be equalled or maybe broken someday.
The man most equipped to do the job at the moment seems to be Rafa. He is five years younger to Roger and already has 13 titles – four shy of the Swiss whom he regards as the greatest player of all time.
However, Rafa, staying true to his humble nature, refuses to entertain any such thoughts saying he has already achieved much more than he could have ever dreamt of. He doesn’t like to look way into the future and takes one match at a time.
“Only thing I can say is the same like I do every time. I`m going to keep working hard. I`m going to keep doing my things to have more chances in the future to be competitive and to give me more chances to win the tournaments like this one,” Nadal said after winning 2013 US Open.
If Nadal manages to keep his fitness in check and continues with his current form, one can only imagine what new records he might set and break.