Rafael Nadal is still talking to media about the overwhelming task ahead of him. In the next few weeks Rafa has to defend Madrid (1000), Rome (1000), Roland Garros (2000) and Wimbledon (2000). That’s a whopping 4000 points on clay, and he’s using Barcelona to try and add some points that will give him some breathing room in the event he is unable to repeat the epic clay court run he had last season.
Nadal is all too aware that this is the best chance to defend a huge number of points that will keep him in the number one spot at the end of the year – which has clearly become his goal. As he stated to the media he is well aware that the in form Novak Djokovic has only 540 points to defend, having skipped Madrid due to allergy problems last season.
There is now little more than 3000 points keeping Novak from taking the top spot and Nadal will be damned if he gives it up without a fight. It’s interesting to hear Nadal honestly taking about the importance of point defense.
“This is the only week I don’t have to defend points. You have to think about winning them.
Every year I did a fantastic clay court season. I have to try to do it another time. With these four or five tournaments, if I am playing very well, I’m going to have the biggest chances to have enough points to try to be in the top position at the end of the year ranking.
Nole will always be on the opposite side of the draw, which means that I can only meet him in the final. For now I have to focus on my upcoming opponents. Djokovic has started the season in great shape and why should this not be his season?”
“That’s where I have to play my best, where I have to defend a lot of points. With these four or five tournaments, if I am playing very well, I’m going to have the biggest chances to have enough points to try to be in the top position at the end of the year ranking.”
In terms of the number of titles won by players in the Open Era, according to Nadal’s website, the Spaniard is now currently in joint third place. Nadal is, however, in first place for number of Masters 1000 titles won.
1 ) Guillermo Vilas 45
2 ) Thomas Muster 40
3 ) Borg, Orantes, Nadal 30
6 ) Ivan Lendl, Ilie Nastase 28
8 ) Jose-Luis Clerc 21
9 ) Mats Wilander 20
10 )Andres Gomez, Carlos Moya 16