Record-collector Nadal closes in on Federer's hoard

Mon Jun 9, 2014 7:59am EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

PARIS (Reuters) - When Roger Federer won his 17th grand slam title in 2012, it seemed his record haul would last forever as it took more than a century of trying for a super-human male athlete to come along and win that many major trophies.

Yet only two years later, a younger, fitter, hungrier rival by the name of Rafa Nadal is now threatening to topple the Swiss from his perch after hoisting his 14th major silverware at Roland Garros on Sunday.

As the Spaniard has now contested the last three slam finals it is not inconceivable that by the time he returns to Paris next year to target a 10th Musketeers' Cup, his name could be alongside Federer's on the list of all-time leading title hoarders.

As the first man to win nine times at the same grand slam tournament and with time still on his side, Nadal has shown no signs of relinquishing his hold at the French Open, where he owns an eye-popping 66-1 win-loss record.

The tennis world may be obsessed with finding out just how many more trophies Nadal is capable of winning but the 28-year-old did not seem to care a hoot about where he ended up in the pecking order.

"Federer, well, he's had 17 and I have had 14 grand slams... but I'm not really worried. It's not a source of motivation for me," said the French Open champion, who owns two Wimbledons, two U.S. Open and an Australian Open trophy.

"I don't really care that much about the records. I'll still play with a lot of intensity. I'll still be motivated.

"I'll follow my own path. Then when my career is over, we'll count."   Continued...

Rafael Nadal of Spain poses with his trophy for photographers near the Eiffel Tower, a day after winning his men's singles final match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris June 9, 2014.  REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes