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Tennis-Nadal says 21 Grand Slams not enough in all-time record race

Randy Mancini 6 Feb 3
Rafael Nadal Press Conference
Tennis - Rafael Nadal Press Conference - Rafa Nadal Academy, Mallorca, Spain - February 2, 2022 Spain's Rafael Nadal during the press conference REUTERS/Enrique Calvo

February 3, 2022

(Reuters) – Australian Open champion Rafa Nadal said he would love to finish his career with more Grand Slam titles than rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic but thinks he will have to secure more than 21 to do so.

Nadal fought back to beat Russian Daniil Medvedev in the final at Melbourne Park on Sunday to move one ahead of Federer and Djokovic and claim a men’s record 21st major title.

“I have no idea what number of Grand Slams I will have,” Nadal told reporters at his academy in Mallorca on Wednesday.

“I want to be the one with the most majors out of the three of us, I would love that, but I’m not obsessed, absolutely not. Whatever comes is welcome and I don’t think 21 is enough to be honest. But you never know what will happen in the future.”

World number one Djokovic did not feature at the Australian Open after being deported from the country due to his COVID-19 vaccination status, while Federer was ruled out following a third knee surgery last year.

Nadal, who missed much of last season due to a niggling foot injury, added that it still hurts when he plays but his game was a higher level now.

“This (the win) has given me a huge boost of confidence to move forward,” said the Spaniard. “I have been able to enjoy the highest level of sport again, something that was very difficult to imagine a few weeks ago.”

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)