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Spain’s Rafael Nadal is without a doubt the hottest player on the ATP World Tour right now, having amassed a total of nine titles since his comeback in February. He has won a total of five ATP World Tour Masters title so far this season and won the French Open title for the eighth time. Despite the slight hiccup of exiting the Wimbledon championships in the first round, Nadal went on to sweep the Northern American hardcourt season – winning the Montreal Masters and Cincinnati Masters. He earned the top spot at the US Open Series in the process and has a running chance of earning additional $1 million on top of the $2.6 million at stake for the US Open champion.
“(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,” he said.
Nadal currently has 12 Grand Slam titles, tied with Roy Emerson’s haul. The US Open 2013 Championships begin on August 26 and a victory in New York will place Nadal in sole third place in the all-time list of Grand Slam holders. Only Roger Federer (17) and Pete Sampras (14) are going to be ahead by then.
“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 practicing with the best I have, and I am going to compete with all I have.”
Nadal could overtake Novak Djokovic as the world’s number one player at the conclusion of the US Open. All the Spaniard needs to do is reach the final and Djokovic loses before the quarterfinals. Nadal can also become number one by winning the US Open and Djokovic loses in the semifinals or below.
“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.”
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