McDonald: When Everything Is Said And Done Rafael Nadal May Have More Slams Than Roger Federer

New York loves its champions and even though he stands under the Swiss flag, Roger Federer gets treated as well as any American Champion by the US Open crowd.

Justifiably so. He is thought to be the greatest of all time. 

Now the New York crowd loves Rafael Nadal as well, but Federer is still considered the home team here. 

But maybe we should look at it again. 

However, Since Federer last won the Open in 2008, Nadal now has three Open Championships and 16 overall, only three behind Federer’s 19.

And this year, for those scoring at home. It was Federer with two slams and Nadal with two in his books.

“Of course if I will win two Grand Slams this year and he will not win, we’ll be closer, but it still happens one more year and he has 19, I think. I have 16. So three is big difference,” Nadal said after winning the US Open over Kevin Anderson, 6-3 6-3 6-4.

“I really don’t think much about these kind of things. As I said before, I do my way. I’m very happy with all the things that are happening to me, win this title again. I have this trophy with me.”

Three is not the number to look at when it comes to comparing slams between Federer and Nadal. The number is six. Because even though Federer has three more slams to his credit, Nadal is six years younger than the Maestro.

And those six years are important, because Federer is starting to show signs of slowing down. Although he won two slams this year, after missing six months with a knee injury, he wore down as the summer went on and lost to Juan Martin del Potro in the Quarterfinals this past week.

You have to wonder if Federer can still keep up this pace going into his age-38 season.

Nadal on the other hand, even though he had injuries the last few seasons, looks like he is still in top form. He still can win on multiple surfaces and will have multiple seasons to make up the three.

Plus, Nadal’s secret weapon is that he literally owns Roland Garros. Ten of his slams came on the Parisian clay. Federer conceded it to him this year, by sitting out the clay court season and you figure Nadal will win a few more there before his career is done.

Of course all of this is predicated on health. If you thought last year both Federer and Nadal will finish 2017 with two apiece, you would have been called crazy.

Rafael Nadal celebrates his US Open Championship. Photo: Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire

“I tell you what happened last year. I was ready to win Roland Garros last year,” Nadal said. “That’s the real thing. I don’t say if I don’t get injury, I will win Roland Garros, because is something that is impossible to predict, but I really and honestly can tell you that I felt myself ready to win Roland Garros, because I was playing well. But of course when you get injury, then seems like the season is a disaster.

“Of course is something difficult to imagine eight months ago or nine months ago that we will be winning two Grand Slams each.”

But that’s tennis for you. It’s unpredictable. You couldn’t couldn’t predict four Americans in the women’s semis, especially with Serena Williams on the sidelines. You couldn’t expect three Open champions and two runners-up sitting out this year’s bracket.

None of this can be predicted.

However, sometimes you can look at the safest bets and Rafael Nadal passing Roger Federer is a smart money push.

“I think I did the right work,” Nadal said. “I believed on the work, on the diary work all the time. I still believe on these things to improve, and I wake up every morning with the passion to go on court and to try to improve things. Probably that’s why I still have chances to compete in this sport and to do it well. That’s all.”

Yup, that’s all. It’s easy as six and three.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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