When Roger Federer (Player Bio) captured his 17th Grand Slam title at the 2012 edition of Wimbledon, there wouldn’t have been many people who would have given odds on Rafael Nadal (Player Bio) being able to overcome this all-time record Grand Slam haul. A lot changes in tennis in 14 months however, and when Nadal beat Djokovic at the US Open earlier this month he moved to 13 Grand Slams of his own and looked like he was back at the very top of his form. Meanwhile, the great Swiss player is on the slide down the rankings and it would seemingly take a miraculous recovery of form for him to add to his own tally any time soon.
So, does this all mean that Nadal could actually overhaul Federer’s record and leave the Swiss maestro having held the record for a much briefer period than anyone could have imagined when he first went past Sampras’s record in 2009. A lot of tennis fans, experts and good judges of the game thinks that it does, and Nadal’s record of 60 wins in 63 matches this season does make a compelling case. It is enough of a case for John Mcenroe too, who claims that the Spaniard looks as good as he ever has and could easily capture another four or five Grand Slam titles before he’s done.
It’s not all positive for Nadal when considering whether he could grab the record for himself however, as there are a couple of notable stumbling blocks which may keep Federer’s position at the top of the tree secure. Most notable amongst these has to be the Spaniard’s fitness and more particularly his knees, which caused him to miss seven months of action last year and which may well flare up again as he gets older. Secondly, you do also have to consider the calibre of the other players who will be challenging for Grand Slam titles in the years to come, as whilst Nadal is undoubtedly king at Roland Garros the likes of Murray and Djokovic will always be tough nuts to crack at the other slams.
Whatever your opinion on whether Nadal or Federer will hold the Grand Slam record by the time they both retire, the fact remains that the battle for the crown will provide some fascinating talking points for a good few years to come.