Nadal still sees 'big difference' to Federer's major haul

Nadal celebrates French Open success this year with Toni his uncle

"After the first two, three months of the season, you see that I am playing well, and if I am playing well on clay, I normally am going to have my chances". Although even that seems unlikely, given that the 6-foot-1 (1.85-meter) Nadal is among the game's top returners and has won 43 percent of his opponents' service games in the tournament. Stephens, 83rd in the world, has won with an impressive serenity the fifth title of his career, by far the most important, which guarantees him a gain of $ 3.7 million.

A young 22-year-old Federer won the Wimbledon in 2003.Similarly a 19-year-old Nadal won his first French open during 2005.There isn't a single player who is here to chellenge the elite five of Federer, Nadal, Novak, Murray and Wawrinka. There were many key moments that enabled Nadal to display some of his most awesome and blistering tennis in a mostly comfortable three sets victory.

Asked about matching long-time rival Federer's tally, Nadal said: "I really never thought much about that". Now I am not that much surprised. While these things keep happening, I will be here. I believed on the work, on the diary work, all the time.

" It is a very special year, no?"

In the first round, while Nadal won easily his service games, Anderson, is particularly vulnerable on his second bullet of service, was quickly under pressure: it took him as well to fight nearly ten minutes to win his second game of service.

"People talk about how physical tennis is, but here he is at 31 winning two grand slams, right behind Federer. So that's impossible to recover in the same year". "Certainly will be very interesting to see what happens next year". "For me, there is no reason to think he can't spend many more years on Tour".

Nadal’s uncle has overseen his nephew’s training for the past 28 years
Nadal’s uncle has overseen his nephew’s training for the past 28 yearsJULIAN FINNEY GETTY IMAGES

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

"I can't thank him enough for all the things he did for me", Nadal said of his uncle. "That's a great help".

"To close the Grand Slam year winning at NY - that's one of the events that's really high energy, the crowd - makes me so so happy".

Carlos Moya is confident Rafael Nadal can continue to challenge for grand slams despite his advancing years. That's a lot of positive energy for me.

Anderson, 31, gave all thumbs up to Nadal, saying "I know we're the same age but I feel like I've been watching you my whole life". "I still want to compete and still feel the nerves every time that I go on court".

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