Some time ago, Rafael Nadal stated that he doesn't really worry about breaking his rival Roger Federer's record of most Grand Slam titles. But his former teammate and fellow Spaniard David Ferrer feels that in reality, it could actually mean much more to him than he publically acknowledges.
"It is a target for him. He wants to do something like Roger. It is a very good target for him to still keep going. It is more difficult but in this moment he is the no. 1 in the world. So he is in a good place," Ferrer told a newspaper in an interview.
The former Davis Cup teammate of Rafa also expressed his confidence that the 12-time French Open champion has what it takes to remain the best in the world.
"Tsitsipas, Thiem, Medvedev are very good players but Rafa for me is the favourite to finish next year as world no 1. He can do it. He's a superhero. He's unbelievable. Every year Rafa surprises me," Ferrer told Express.
Nadal currently possesses 19 Grand Slam titles. His rival Federer has 20. Next year's Australian Open would give the Spaniard an opportunity to equal the Swiss maestro. However, Fedex would also try and increase the lead.
But it's not just ahead of him that Nadal has to look. Right behind him stands Novak Djokovic with 16 Grand Slam titles. Even if the 19-time Grand Slam champion gets ahead of Federer, his record would remain under threat from the Serbian.
What distinguishes Nadal from Federer and Djokovic is the fact that a large percentage of his titles, more than half, have come from just one major – French Open. In his entire career, Nadal has lost only two matches at Roland Garros – to Robin Soderling in 2009 and to Novak Djokovic in 2015. Except for that, Rafa has won the clay-court Grand Slam every time he has played in it.
If he gets to the 2020 edition of this event, nobody will bet against him retaining his title.