US OPEN 2013
Hot Rafa Chases Title, No. 1 Ranking
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
Rafael Nadal enters the US Open as arguably the hottest player on the ATP World Tour, finding himself in the midst of one of his best years as a professional. The 2010 champion will be looking to build on a perfect 15-0 hard court record this year, which includes a trio of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, in Indian Wells, Montreal and Cincinnati.
His victories in Montreal and Cincinnati earned him Emirates Airline US Open Series champion honours as well. “(I won) a very tough match against Novak in Montreal. Then I had a very tough one against Roger in Cincinnati. I was lucky that I won both. And probably for that reason then I am confident, and I had the chance to keep playing well, keep winning matches against very tough opponents. To be here winning two previous Masters 1000 is something great.”
Nadal, who is currently tied with Roy Emerson with 12 Grand Slam titles, could surge into third place on the all-time list with a win in New York. With a stellar 53-3 overall record in 2013 and nine titles, the Spaniard is looking forward to his return to the US Open, having missed the tournament last year with knee troubles.
“The US Open is a great event,” Nadal said. “To have the US Open in one of the most important cities of the world like New York, it is great for our sport. Last year I watched this event on the TV. This year I have the chance to be here. That's great. All of that is fantastic for me. Now I have a chance to be ready, to compete with the right attitude, you know, try my best in every moment. I can lose, I can win, but only thing that is sure is I am practising with the best I have, and I am going to compete with all I have.”
The World No. 2 could usurp Novak Djokovic as the top-ranked player in the world if he reaches the final and Djokovic falls before the quarter-finals or if Nadal wins the title and Djokovic loses in the semi-finals or earlier.
“If I am not No. 1, it still will be an amazing season for me,” Nadal added. “This tournament is going make a big difference. We will see what's happening here, and after here I will say not everything will be decided, but things can be more clear and completely less clear.”
Nadal will begin his quest for a second US Open title against American wild card Ryan Harrison. Their lone meeting came in Indian Wells earlier this year, with Nadal prevailing 7-6(3), 6-2. The Spanish lefty has a potential rematch with big-serving American John Isner in the Round of 16 and a quarter-final blockbuster against Roger Federer looming. Nadal defeated both players en route to the Cincinnati title a week ago.