Nadal focused on Simon and not U.S. Open title

Sat Sep 4, 2010 2:49am EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Open is the only grand slam title missing from Rafa Nadal's resume, yet the world number one is surprisingly not obsessed about winning in New York and joining an illustrious group of tennis greats.

"Seriously, for me, to complete the grand slam at this moment is not a goal," the 24-year-old Spaniard told reporters on Friday, after his 6-2 7-6 7-5 second round victory over unseeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

"For me the goal is to try to improve my level, to play well (in) the next match, and we will see what happens next Sunday.

"For me it is not an obsession."

Nadal, winner of the French Open five times, Wimbledon twice and the Australian Open once, has come to Flushing Meadows armed with a faster serve and an improved volley that could push him past the semi-finals, where his past two U.S. Open campaigns have ended.

Nadal did not drop serve on Friday, producing eight aces and clocking a fastest delivery of 134 miles per hour.

The Spaniard also won 13 of 19 points at the net and will be confident of victory against unseeded Frenchman Gilles Simon in the third round.

"For the moment, it's working really well," he said about his serve. "So I'm going to try to keep playing like this. Serving like this is a big confidence in my game."   Continued...

<p>Rafael Nadal of Spain serves to Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York September 3, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>