Rafael Nadal fights with the spectre of Roger Federer’s Grand Slam record ‘every day’

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal ‘fights’ every day to best Roger Federer’s eventual Grand Slam count, says his uncle and former coach Toni Nadal.

Nadal has won two Grand Slams this season, the French Open and the US Open, to close to within one of Federer’s record haul of 20 major career crowns.

Publicly, the Spaniard has downplayed the rivalry with Federer in recent times, but Toni says that, privately, it is his main motivation.

“I think Rafael fights on a daily basis for two or three things,” uncle Toni said.

“The first one for a special satisfaction; all athletes try to motivate themselves.

“Now Rafael has another battle: he is very close to Federer on the Grand Slams. I imagine it will be a priority of his on his mind.

“Then you have other challenges; this year he can end as a number one.

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“He always has difficulties to end as number one, because he was always forced to end his season because of an injury and this year he has many points more than Novak Djokovic.

“I think what motivates him is to be doing well.”

Nadal will take the world number one spot from Djokovic on November 4 and should retain it to the year end should he avoid an injury that rules hi out of the Paris Masters.

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