Rafa Nadal wins US Open: Spanish superstar not focused on beating Roger Federer's record of grand slam titles

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal says winning more majors than Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic is not his ultimate aim after moving to within one of the Swiss star with his 19th at the US Open.

Nadal is now one grand slam away from equalling Roger Federer's record and could finish the year overtaking Novak Djokovic to become world number one - but he insists he is chasing no one.

Nadal won his 19th major title in dramatic fashion after holding off a remarkable comeback from Russian Daniil Medvedev in Sunday's US Open final.

He led by two sets and a break but ended up playing for almost five hours before closing out a breathless 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 victory.

A fourth US Open title has opened up the possibility of stealing a march on his two 'big three' rivals, but the 33-year-old Spaniard said: "I don't look (at) it that way.

"I always say the same, I would love to be the one who wins more, but I am not thinking and I am not going to practice every day or not play tennis for it. I am playing tennis because I love to play tennis.

"I feel honoured to be part of this battle. But you can't be all day looking next to you if one has more or one has a little bit less, because you will be frustrated.

"I would love to be the one who has more, yes. But I really believe that I will not be happier or less happy if that happens or does not happen.

"What gives you the happiness is the personal satisfaction that you've given your best. In that way I am very, very calm, very pleased with myself.

"If I am able to be number one doing it my way, great. But it's not my main goal.

"Of course, it's great to be in that fight. But for me personally, it's not really a fight. I just try be competitive the weeks that I need to compete, or the weeks that I want to compete.

"With my age and with my goals, I cannot lose energy or time following the number one. I need to think about my career in a different way.

"For me, my main goal is play as long as possible and compete, being competitive. But I am there. If I am able to play well until the end of the season, I'm going to have my chances."

Medvedev, who came so close to breaking the hegemony of the 'big three', is now officially the next cab off the rank having moved up to four in the world.

The 23-year-old said: "It's really tough because these guys, they are playing amazing tennis.

"It's really tough to beat them, even to get a set from them, even every game to win is tough. We're just doing our best job to try to make it happen sometimes."

Grand Slam winners: Men's all-time list

  • 20 - Roger Federer
  • 19 - Rafael Nadal
  • 16 - Novak Djokovic
  • 14 - Pete Sampras
  • 12 - Roy Emerson
  • 11 - Rod Laver
  • 11 - Bjorn Borg
  • 10 - Bill Tilden
  • 8 - Fred Perry
  • 8 - Ken Rosewall
  • 8 - Jimmy Connors
  • 8 - Ivan Lendl
  • 8 - Andre Agassi

Rafael Nadal's 19 Grand Slams

2005 French Open

Two days after his 19th birthday, Nadal began an unprecedented period of dominance in Paris with a four-set victory over Argentinian Mariano Puerta.

2006 French Open

Nadal proved he was no flash in the pan on the clay when he beat Roger Federer in the final despite losing the opening set 6-1.

2007 French Open

Federer was again the victim, going down to a four-set defeat as Nadal became the first since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win a hat-trick of titles.

2008 French Open

Nadal matched Borg's feat of four straight titles at Roland Garros when he dismantled Federer in an hour and 48 minutes, dropping just three games.

2008 Wimbledon

Widely regarded as the greatest ever tennis match, Nadal beat Federer 9-7 in the fifth set after four hours and 48 minutes of breathtaking action.

2009 Australian Open

Nadal's only Melbourne triumph to date came against Federer, cranking up their rivalry another notch. He won 7-5 3-6 7-6 (3) 3-6 6-2.

2010 French Open

In a major shock, Robin Soderling had knocked the defending champion out the previous year. Nadal gained revenge on the Swede in straight sets.

2010 Wimbledon

Tomas Berdych was the surprise finalist and he stood little chance as Nadal wrapped up the second of his titles at SW19, 6-3 7-5 6-4.

2010 US Open

A first Flushing Meadows title came against Novak Djokovic, a 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2 victory giving Nadal the full set of grand slams.

2011 French Open

A sixth Roland Garros title equalled Borg's tally. Federer fought hard this time but Nadal got over the line 7-5 7-6 5-7 6-1.

2012 French Open

In a final played on the Monday due to several rain delays, Nadal was at his imperious best as he beat Djokovic 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5.

2013 French Open

David Ferrer reached the final to set up an all-Spanish clash on the clay. Nadal swept past him 6-3 6-2 6-3 for Paris title number eight.

2013 US Open

Djokovic was Nadal's opponent again in New York, and a 13th grand slam crown was chalked up courtesy of a 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-1 win.

2014 French Open

Djokovic took the first set this time, and pushed Nadal all the way in the second, but still succumbed 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4.

2017 French Open

Having lost to Djokovic in 2015 and then pulled out injured a year later, Nadal regained his crown amid emotional scenes, beating Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 6-1.

2017 US Open

Big serving South African Kevin Anderson battled his way to the final but found Nadal too hot to handle, going down 6-3 6-3 6-4.

2018 French Open

Dominic Thiem is seen by many as the heir apparent to Nadal on clay, but the Austrian was put firmly in his place in a straight-sets defeat.

2019 French Open

Thiem briefly threatened a shock when he took the second set, but Nadal rallied to beat him 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 and secure a 12th French crown.

2019 US Open

One of the most dramatic finals in history saw Daniil Medvedev come from two sets and a break down to force a decider before Nadal won 7-5 6-4 5-7 4-6 6-4.

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