Fed's record not a target

PARIS • Rafael Nadal insists that he has no desire to become locked into an arms race with Roger Federer to surpass his great rival's 20 Grand Slam titles.

Nadal clinched an 11th French Open with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory against Dominic Thiem on Sunday to take his majors total to 17.

The 32-year-old Spaniard said such targets do not concern him, believing his caution is well-placed after an injury-hit career which has seen him sit out nine Grand Slam tournaments.

"I've never been crazy about this kind of stuff," he said. "You can't always be frustrated if somebody has more money than you, a bigger house than you, if somebody has more Grand Slams than you.

"Of course I would love to have 20 like Roger or even more but it's not something that's on my mind."

Even this year, injury has continued to hound Nadal with a hip problem forcing him to quit his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic. He missed the North America hard-court season and only returned in time for the European clay-court season.

Next for Nadal is Wimbledon, where he won in 2008 and 2010. However, his recent record at the All England Club is poor. Last year, he lost 15-13 in the fifth set of his last-16 tie against Gilles Muller.

Since his last title in London, he has suffered a first-round exit and two defeats in the second round. Nadal is due to play the Queen's Club as a warm-up next week.

"It is a drastic change from clay to grass. And I did it in the past when I was much younger, quicker, because I played back to back," he added. "But it's time to check how I feel in the next couple of days."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2018, with the headline 'Fed's record not a target'. Print Edition | Subscribe