Davis Cup triumph is higher than Grand Slam title: Moya
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Davis Cup triumph is higher than Grand Slam title: Moya

Spaniard Carlos Moya rates his country's victory in the Davis Cup tennis tournament two years ago above the French Open title he won in 1998.

india Updated: Sep 25, 2006 21:30 IST

Spaniard Carlos Moya rates his country's victory in the Davis Cup tennis tournament two years ago above the world no 1 ranking he had achieved in the past as well as the French Open men's singles crown he won in 1998.

The world no 43 also feels that the gap between the top two players currently - world no 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland and reigning French Open champion Rafael Nadal - was bigger than during his peak period in the 1990s when the gap among the top 10 players in the world was narrower.

"Davis Cup is one of the favourite tournaments of all the players. Our title win in the Cup two years ago was the best thing which has happened to me in my tennis career. I rate it) even higher than my Grand Slam victory and my no one ranking," 30-year-old Moya, in Mumbai to take part in the$ 380,000 Kingfisher Airlines Open which commenced at the Cricket Club of India.

"I have played five times in the Chennai Open. Luck did not favour me in the first two years as I had to pull out due to a thumb infection and recurrence of a back problem (stress fracture) on the second occasion. But since then I have won the title twice and reached the final once," he said.

"The first match anywhere is going to be difficult. But I want to repeat my good show in Chennai in the tournament here. Hopefully I would do so," the Spaniard said.

Moya is set to take on Argentine Juan Martin Del Porto in round one tomorrow.

Asked about his long career which had fetched him 500 singles wins recently, the pony-tail haired Moya said that when he started his career he never thought he would get this far.

"I never thought when I started that I would win so many matches. I am proud of this (feat). I would like to go for 600 wins though I know it's going to be very difficult to achieve," he said.

Moya hoped his compatriot Nadal, who lost to Federer in the men's singles final of the last Wimbledon championship, would one day win the most coveted title in world tennis.

"It was a big achievement that he came to the final of Wimbledon. If Federer had not been there, I think Rafael would have won it. It's difficult to beat Roger on grass."

Moya felt that Nadal was capable of becoming the world number one too if he stays fit and maintains his form over the next couple of years.

"He's very strong and works very hard at his game," the elder statesman of Spanish tennis said.

Asked to compare 14-time Grand Slam title-winner Pete Sampras of the US with Federer, Moya said it was difficult to compare players of different eras.

He also felt that the Spanish armada that ruled the world during his peak period was much stronger than the present bunch in which only Nadal seemed capable of winning Grand Slams.

"In my days there were Alex Corretja, Carlos Ferrero, Alberto Costa and Felix Mantila who all were capable of winning Slams, but now we have only Nadal who seems capable of winning Grand Slams."

Moya said he would continue to play as long as he was fit and enjoying the game.

He also welcomed the third umpire's concept introduced in tennis at the last US Open and said it was a very beneficial move.

"A single wrong line call can affect the entire game and tournament. I know it's expensive to use the technology, but it's beneficial for the game and I welcome it."

Moya, for whom this is his first visit to Mumbai to play tennis although he had played in the Chennai Open on five previous occasions, said he was looking forward to repeat his fine performance in the southern metropolis in India's commercial capital during the week.

First Published: Sep 25, 2006 21:30 IST