New York - Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal says he is proud of belonging
to a generation of era-defining champions after winning the US Open in New York
on Sunday evening.
In winning his third US Open title, by beating South African
Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in the final, the world number one has now won 16
grand slam titles, three behind Swiss superstar Roger Federer who sits on top
with 19 slams.
The 16 slams Nadal has won so far: Australian Open (2009);
French Open (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017);
Wimbledon (2008, 2010); US Open (2010,
At the press conference after his US Open triumph, Nadal
said though his career rivalry with Federer over the years had been important
for the sport as a whole but felt that belonging to a generation of
era-defining champions is of greater importance.
"Of course this rivalry has been important for our
sport, in my opinion," Nadal said about his rivalry with Federer.
"That involved a lot of people, and because of
different styles, different characters, and we played for the most important
things for such a long time, I think that was the great promotion for our
"I feel happy to be part of this rivalry, but at the
same time, I played, even more, matches with Novak (Djokovic) than with Roger
in such important matches, too."
Since Nadal won the first of his 10 French Open titles, he,
Federer and Djokovic have won 43 of the 51 grand slams with only Andy Murray,
Stan Wawrinka, Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic also winning the major
"In my career, I have been involved in different
rivalries. I feel lucky to be part of all of them in some way. In another way,
I have been in an era where three players achieved 19, 16 and 12 (grand
slams)," he said of himself, Federer and Djokovic.
"That’s a lot, no? There is a remarkable part of the
history of our sport. So that means was difficult for everybody to win titles
in this part of the, in this era.
"That’s difficult to find some players in the same
generation that achieve all the things that we achieved," Nadal said.
"We are in an era that is not nice to say, because I'm
part of it, but we are in an era that some players make incredible things in
this sport, no?
"Happy to be part of it, and I feel lucky to be part of
it and enjoying the fact that I have been involved in some way in the two
rivalries. That is amazing, no?" he added.