Nadal shrugs off numbers game in Wimbledon final
Rafael Nadal insists he will not be distracted by the pursuit of Grand Slam history or the loss of his world number one spot to Novak Djokovic when he takes on the red-hot Serb in Sunday's Wimbledon final.sports Updated: Jul 02, 2011 17:32 IST
Rafael Nadal insists he will not be distracted by the pursuit of Grand Slam history or the loss of his world number one spot to Novak Djokovic when he takes on the red-hot Serb in Sunday's Wimbledon final.
Defending champion Nadal, on a 20-match winning streak at the All England Club, is adamant the prospect of a third Wimbledon title is the only statistic that occupies his mind.
Nadal, the champion in 2008 and 2010, will be appearing in his fifth Wimbledon final while Australian Open winner Djokovic will be making his debut in the title match.
The odds are stacked in the top seed's favour, but the Spaniard believes that even victory will not necessarily mean he is destined to overhaul Roger Federer's record of 16 Grand Slam titles.
"The number 16? I think about the number 10. That's what I have at home. I don't have 11, I don't have 12, I don't have 15, or 16... 16 is very far," said Nadal.
"I believe the number is not going to stop there. Roger will have chances to win more. Seriously, this is not my goal. I am very happy about my 10.
"The career of Roger is probably impossible to repeat. If you look at the history of tennis, he's the player with more Grand Slams in I don't know how many years of history of the tennis, 100, 125 years?"
Djokovic believes his outstanding record in 2011 against Nadal can only work in his favour.
"This year we have played so many finals. Obviously even though it's a different surface, I believe I can win against him," said the Serb, who made the final by beating France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-7 (9/11), 6-3.
"He's playing great on grass. He has still a lot of confidence and he knows how it feels to win a trophy at Wimbledon. I have nothing to lose. I'll try to take it to him because I don't want him to control the match."
Djokovic is the sport's in-form player with his French Open semi-final loss to Federer his only defeat in his last 50 matches, a remarkable run which stretches back to Serbia's maiden Davis Cup triumph last December.
The 24-year-old, who added this year's Australian Open title to his 2008 Grand Slam breakthrough in Melbourne, insists that Wimbledon was always the one major he dreamed of winning when he was growing up in Belgrade.
"I was always trying to visualise myself on Sunday, the last Sunday of Wimbledon. Being in the Wimbledon final it's 'the thing' for me," said Djokovic.
"It's just the tournament that I watched first. First time I watched tennis or anything related to tennis was Wimbledon when I was four, five. I remember always Wimbledon being 'the one'."