BY GODWIN AIKIGBE
Rafael Nadal says he is lucky to part of the rivalry involving himself, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, which he describes as great promotion for tennis.
The world number spoke to the press after breezing past Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to win his third US Open title in New York on Sunday.
He said: “Of course this rivalry has been important for our sport, in my opinion. That involved a lot of people, and because of different styles, different characters, and we played for the most important things for such a long time, I think that was the great promotion for our sport.
“I feel happy to be part of this rivalry, but at the same time, I played, even more, matches with Novak (Djokovic) than with Roger in such important matches, too.
“In my career, I have been involved in different rivalries. I feel lucky to be part of all of them in some way. In another way, I have been in an era where three players achieved 19, 16 and 12 (grand slams),” he said of himself, Federer and Djokovic.
“That’s a lot, no? There is a remarkable part of the history of our sport. So that means was difficult for everybody to win titles in this part of the, in this era.
“That’s difficult to find some players in the same generation that achieve all the things that we achieved.
“We are in an era that is not nice to say, because I’m part of it, but we are in an era that some players make incredible things in this sport, no?
“Happy to be part of it, and I feel lucky to be part of it and enjoying the fact that I have been involved in some way in the two rivalries. That is amazing, no?” he added.
Sunday’s triumph takes Nadal’s slam titles to 16, three less than Roger Federer, having Australian Open (2009); French Open (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017); Wimbledon (2008, 2010); US Open (2010, 2013, 2017)
Since Nadal won the first of his 10 French Open titles, he, Federer and Djokovic have won 43 of the 51 grand slams with only Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic also winning the major titles.