Why Nadal doesn't care about Federer's record

With agencies

Rafael Nadal has opened up about the possibility of overtaking Roger Federer's record haul of grand slams.

Nadal believes the three major wins he needs to match Federer's record of 19 men's singles titles in the Open Era represents a "big difference".

Nadal won the 16th grand slam of his career when he beat Kevin Anderson 6-3 6-3 6-4 in the US Open final at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

It represented the world No.1's second major win of the year, the other being his historic 10th French Open victory, in a dramatic change of fortunes from an injury-ravaged 2016.

Nadal was beaten in the final of the Australian Open by Federer, the 36-year-old Swiss also winning his eighth Wimbledon title in a phenomenal return from knee and back issues the previous year.

Asked about matching long-time rival Federer's tally, Nadal said: "I really never thought much about that. I just do my way. He does his way. Let's see when we finish.

"Of course, if I won two grand slams this year and he did not win, we'd be closer, but he has 19, I have 16. So three is a big difference.

"Well done for Roger that he is having an amazing season, too, and well done for me because I’m having a great season, too.

Federer and Nadal swept the majors in 2017. Image: Getty

"Tennis is not all about the Grand Slams, so there are tournaments to come and I’m excited about this last part of the season."

According to former World No.1 Mats Wilander, Rafa is hungrier than Federer and is likely to overhaul his Swiss rival's grand slam title tally.

"Nadal's playing better than he ever has," Wilander, a US Open champion in 1988, said.

"We've never had a hungrier player than Federer and Nadal and I would say that Nadal is probably much hungrier than Federer," the Swede added.

Nadal's utter dominance on clay, which earned him a record 10 French Open titles, means that he is likely to prevail again at Roland Garros while Federer's age might a concern.

Nadal has time on his side as he will turn 32 next year while Federer will celebrate his 37th birthday.

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"I think that Nadal has a very good chance to catch Roger because he's gonna win the French Open again at least once or twice and suddenly you're one or two away," said Wilander.

"Do we think that Federer is going to win another slam next year when he turns 37? I don't know.

"He can win another one maybe but Nadal has another four or five years and people are wrong when they think that he's physically wearing himself down."

However Aussie champion Pat Chas disagrees and is tipping Federer to taste more grand slam success in 2018.

"He’s my favourite for everything apart from the French," Cash said.

"As long as he’s fit, he’s favourite for the Australian, Wimbledon and the US Open."