Whenever the discussion of Rafael Nadal and his chances to become the all-time leader in Grand Slam titles comes up, the words ‘as long as he doesn’t get injured’ are heard. And it’s true – Nadal is an injury risk. But even with that risk, it’s getting clearer and clearer that the day of him dethroning Roger Federer isn’t very far away.
Nadal just won his 13th Grand Slam, beating Novak Djokovic in four sets. It makes it Nadals’ second US Open title, and his second slam of the year, joining the almost annual Roland Garros victory parade.
The problem for Federer in this case is that Nadal can’t seem to lose on clay, unless Novak Djokovic is coming up with some superhuman effort. In fact, Djokovic has beaten Nadal on clay this season to claim a Masters tournament, and was very close in an epic French Open semifinal to hand Nadal a loss on the clay courts of Paris for only the second time in Spaniard’s career.
Nadal was actually talking about avoiding the hard courts this season, which didn’t happen. Despite the fears for his knee not holding up through the grind, he won at Indian Wells, Cincinnati and Canada. The US Open was just further stating his dominance, and making everyone forget about his first round loss at Wimbledon.
Estimating Nadal’s winning in the futures is hard. Suggesting he’s going to win the next couple, or maybe more, of the French Open tournaments isn’t too far fetched, but it’s hard to know how Djokovic is going to bounce back, and how Andy Murray is going to perform in the Australian Open, Wimbledon or the next US Open. Nadal’s health, once more, is also put into question.
But mentally, he seems stronger than anyone. Djokovic and Murray have a hard time coping with highs and lows in their career. Nadal? He just keeps moving like a locomotive, steamrolling everything in his path, even if there are glitches in the software from time to time. Roger Federer isn’t a factor anymore, so that 17, the number Nadal is aiming for, shouldn’t be moving any time soon.
Will Nadal make it? ..only fools seek answers by making haste connections without concrete proof…
Right now, at this moment in time, it looks almost inevitable that Nadal will make up for the lost ground. But no one thought Nadal will end up winning two Slams by September 2013 after missing so much tennis and looking so close to retirement less than a year ago. He’s certainly capable of winning four more in the next two years, but will he do it? That’s not only up to him, as good as he is right now.