Feb 3, 2009

Sport - Nadal on Federer

Melbourne, Feb.2 (ANI): Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal refuses to believe he has Roger Federer's number just yet, despite continuing his grand slam dominance over the so-called greatest player ever.

Nadal's gripping 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-2 Australian Open final triumph on Sunday night not only denied Federer a record-equalling 14th career major - but also took the 22-year-old's own tally to six.

The Spaniard has taken just 20 tournaments to accrue his half-dozen, with only Bjorn Borg - who needed 18 events - stacking up his first six slams in quicker fashion.

Nadal also joined Andre Agassi as the only other man in the 41-year open era to land majors on three different surfaces - clay, grass and hard courts - after posting his fifth consecutive victory over his demoralised Swiss rival.

Still, on Monday the modest Mallorcan was perhaps the only man in Melbourne not wondering whether he - not Federer - was the player treading the path to tennis immortality.

"Right now he has 56 titles, something like this. I have 32. So, it's a lot different. He has 13 grand slams. I have six. The Masters Cup, he has won four. I have not won one. So, there's no discussion," the Herald Sun quoted Nadal, as saying.

"I say right now Roger is the best because he has all these titles. Maybe later (I can be). The rankings show I was the best player in the last year. That's the truth. But I am not the best player, ok," he said.

"I love to win. I love the competition. Not only in tennis, I love the competition in all aspects of life. When I compete, I love to be there and fight for win. Maybe I love more the fight to win, than (to) win," Nadal said. (ANI)

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