Rafael Nadal admits it will be ‘very difficult’ to catch Roger Federer’s Grand Slam haul.
The world number one moved to 16 major titles at the US Open earlier in the month but is still three behind all-time record holder Federer.
Rafael Nadal joins Roger Federer in hitting back at Laver Cup critics
After enduring a difficult period and struggling with injuries, Nadal has enjoyed a fine season, taking the No.1 spot from Andy Murray and adding a tenth French Open victory to his collection.
Asked whether he could surpass Federer’s 19 Grand Slam wins, Nadal said ahead of the Laver Cup: ‘Yes it’s possible but it’s very difficult. Between saying and doing it, there is a lot of difference.
‘No one can guarantee that I will play until 36. I will play as long as my body and mind will allow me to do. I am not afraid or worried about retirement.
‘I am happy also without playing tennis, but the adrenaline that sport gives you is very difficult to find in other things.’
Nadal has shot up the rankings this year but says his priority at the start of the season was simply to be happy and competitive.
‘Obviously it’s much better to be number one than three, but my priority was only to be happy and to be happy you need to feel competitive, and to feel competitive you need to be healthy,’ he added.
‘Being number one doesn’t give me any special feeling, but makes you feel more excited. It’s like a reward for what you did.
‘The vital thing this year was not to get injured, it has allowed me to win titles and fight for everything.’
Nadal is currently competing in the Laver Cup for Team Europe and launched a defence of the tournament on Thursday.