MADRID: Rafael Nadal believes he still has a very long way to go before he can match or overtake the record haul of 17 Grand Slam singles titles amassed by his great rival Roger Federer.
Spaniard Nadal won his eighth French Opencrown on Sunday and having just turned 27, has 12 Grand Slam singles titles in total, including two Wimbledon crowns and triumphs at the US Open and Australian Open.
Swiss Federer, who will be 32 in August, won hislast Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon in 2012 but is still ranked third in the world and has every chance of adding at least one more before he calls time on his career.
“It (matching Federer) is something that right now seems light-years away, something that I am not even thinking about,” Nadal said in an interview with Spanish sports daily Marca published on Tuesday.
Nadal’s French Open success was his seventh title since returning from a seven-month layoff in February due to a knee injury.
He reached the final in the other two events he played, Monte Carloand Vina del Mar, and will now take a brief rest as he prepares for the grass courts of Wimbledon starting in two weeks.
Asked what had helped him win his 12 Grand Slam titles, Nadal told Marca: “The normal. Nothing special.
“Luckily, I have always had a team with me which has helped me in the good and the bad times,” he added.
“Luckily, I have had family and friends around me who have helped me.
“Travelling around Spain and the world and feeling loved is a personal satisfaction and gives you a lot of energy to be able to succeed.”