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Nadal has Federer firmly in his sights again
Matthew Cronin | March 19, 2007 12:50 IST
The 20-year-old Spaniard heads to the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami full of confidence after beating Novak Djokovic on Sunday to win his first title since June and with world number one Roger Federer firmly in his sights.
Federer's 41-match winning streak was ended by Argentine Guillermo Canas at Indian Wells and Nadal tok full advantage, knocking out top American Andy Roddick in the semis and seeing off Djokovic 6-2 7-5 in the final.
"Right now I am number two and Roger is number one and far away from the others," Nadal told reporters. "Roger is the best in history. For sure, my goal is to continue winning tournaments. But now to go to number one is very difficult, and I am not thinking about. But if I play like this, I can win another major."
Nadal had not reached a final since losing to Federer at Wimbledon last year but he has worked hard on his all-round game, particularly his serve.
"When you are not winning, you're thinking, 'Yeah, I need win one title,'" he said. "I was playing bad in Toronto and Cincinnati, but I played quarter-finals in the U.S. Open, quarter-finals in Madrid and semi-finals in Shanghai even though I was playing very bad tennis. In Australia, quarter-finals too. I wasn't winning, but I was always there.
"Sometimes you're a little bit luckier and have a little more confidence. I wasn't a disaster."
Nadal holds a remarkable 18-3 record in finals and still owns a 6-3 career win-loss record against the 25-year-old Federer, who had only won three titles by the age of 20.
"I have a good record," Nadal said. "I know if I continue to improve my game, I gonna have the chances for a win more important titles. My goal is to continue to have titles like this and to try to win another grand slam."