By Alexandra Willis
12 October 2010
Rafael Nadal has poured cold water over the suggestion that he is nigh on certain of becoming the first man since Rod Laver to complete the calendar Grand Slam. Speaking at a press conference during the ATP World Tour Shanghai Rolex Masters 1000, the world No.1 reminded members of the press of the daunting size of the task of winning all four Grand Slams in a single year.
“I hope to have the chances to win four [major] titles next year, [But] for me, that is impossible. I will try to keep playing well… but the Grand Slam is not the case. That’s for sure impossible, I think,” Nadal said. The Spaniard, who became the youngest man in history to complete the career Grand Slam when he lifted the US Open trophy at Flushing Meadows in September, has since won his 43rd career title, adding the Japan Open to his now bulging trophy cabinet.
Having had one of the hardest years of his life in 2009, when he saw the French Open title, Wimbledon title and world No.1 ranking swiped from under his nose, not to mention his constant injury troubles and trials off the court, the 24-year-old believes that being physically fit is the reason behind his resurgence this year.
“Last year and the beginning of this was difficult and hard for me. So maybe for that reason I was able to push hard in all the tournaments, play with [one] hundred per cent of motivation and try [one] hundred per cent in every moment. If you are winning, you want to keep winning because you never know when this going to stop. So you have to do your best. When you are healthy, you have to enjoy the moments when you can because, for sure, the difficult moments are going to come back,’ he told the ATP World Tour website.
A feat that may still be within Nadal’s grasp would be to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time, last achieved by Serena Williams from 2002 to 2003. “It is a mouth-watering proposition, and he certainly will be one of the favourites,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said. “But I think Rafa himself would be the first to point out that at the moment it is all just speculation and there are a lot of tough opponents, including the reigning champion Roger Federer, standing between him and that place in history.’
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