Magnificent Nadal completes career grand slam

Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:05pm EDT
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - By winning the U.S. Open for the first time and completing his collection of grand slam titles, Rafa Nadal solved one riddle and posed another.

His 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2 victory over Novak Djokovic in Monday's rain-interrupted final at Flushing Meadows ensured the Spaniard joined the pantheon of tennis greats and resolved beyond any reasonable doubt just who is the best player in the world today.

But the argument over who is the greatest of all time has once again been sparked and could rage for years.

Nadal is adamant Roger Federer deserves the accolade because of his 16 grand slam titles but the jury is still out after the Spaniard conquered New York.

Nadal has nine grand slam titles and is five years younger than Federer. He has been racking them up at a faster rate than his Swiss rival and has mastered every surface. He is not walking the road to immortality so much as sprinting along it.

"For me, it's a dream to have the career grand slam," Nadal said. "It is an unbelievable feeling because I worked all my life in difficult moments to be here."

With eight grand slams before the tournament began, the lefthanded Nadal was already one of the game's elite, but his win on Monday elevated him to a whole new level.

He overcame the distraction of a two-hour relay delay and losing his first set of the tournament to defeat Djokovic after three hours and 43 minutes of unrelenting tension at Arthur Ashe Stadium.   Continued...

<p>Rafael Nadal of Spain, winner of the 2010 U.S. Open tennis tournament, poses with the champions trophy in Times Square in New York, September 14, 2010. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>