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Nadal: Grand Slam Is Impossible

New York, U.S.A.

Nadal, Queen Sofia© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal is congratulated by Queen Sofia after winning his 13th Grand Slam title.

Even with 10 titles this season, including two Grand Slam and five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns, Rafael Nadal said following his US Open triumph on Monday that it would be impossible to complete the calendar-year Grand Slam.

“To win all four Grand Slams in one year I think today is impossible for anyone,” said the Spaniard. “That's my feeling. We will see, but today the best players are there all the time, so to win a tournament like this you have to win against Roger [Federer], against David [Ferrer], against Andy [Murray], against Novak [Djokovic].

“These players are not losing in the early rounds, so that makes it impossible to be 100 per cent in every tournament. So when your level is a little bit lower, you will lose against these players 100 per cent.”

Nadal came close to holding all four major titles at the same time after winning Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010, but fell in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in both 2010 and 2011. This season, in between his triumphs at Roland Garros and the US Open, he unexpectedly fell in the first round of Wimbledon - one of just three losses this season.

Though Nadal dismissed the possibility of the calendar-year sweep, at 27 years of age, the Spaniard can feasibly move to the top of the Grand Slam titles list by the end of his career. He currently has 13 Grand Slam titles to his name - one shy of Pete Sampras, who held the all-time titles record before Roger Federer eclipsed the mark with his Wimbledon triumph four years ago - and said he would keep trying to add to his haul.  

“For me, is much more than what I ever thought, what I ever dreamed,” said Nadal. “I’m going to keep working hard. I’m going to keep doing my things to have more chances in the future to be competitive and to produce more chances to win the tournaments like this one… You never know when that starts, when that finishes, but 13 is an amazing number.”

For now, Nadal’s goal is to finish his 2013 season on a high, and there are still many achievements in reach: reclaiming the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking; surpassing his personal record of 11 titles won in 2005; becoming the first player to win more than five Masters 1000 titles in a season; and collecting the one title missing from his impressive collection - the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals crown.

“My challenge is finish the season well, try to keep playing with good feeling, try to being competitive until the end of the season, and then prepare myself well for the next season,” he said. “This season has been amazing, so just try to keep working well and have opportunities to be competitive.”

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