US Open 2013: Rafael Nadal revels in ‘dream’ 13th Grand Slam

US Open 2013: Rafael Nadal admits he never envisaged winning a 13th Major at the height of his knee injury woes last year

rafael nadal
Rafael Nadal claimed his 13th Grand Slam on Monday Photo: Marianne Bevis

Rafael Nadal admits he never envisaged being crowned champion at this year’s US Open after facing questions about his future in tennis following his withdrawal from the tournament 12 months ago.

The 27-year-old Spaniard secured his 13th Major as he produced a brutal performance to secure a 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-1 win against world No1 Novak Djokovic at Flushing Meadows on Monday night.

Nadal, who was forced to pull out of the tournament last year due to a nagging knee injury, made it 22 wins from 22 matches on hard courts this year to claim his second US Open crown in just over three hours and 20 minutes.

Following the four-set win, the world No2 revealed he was merely satisfied to be back on tour and competitive after his frustrating knee problems – and said he never dreamt of winning in New York.

“I never thought something like this could happen,” said Nadal.

“[I was] so excited to be back on tour trying to be competitive.

“But I never thought about competing for all what I competed this year… All the Masters 1000s and two Grand Slams.

“So [it] is just more than a dream for me, and I’m very happy for everything.

“I feel very lucky about what happened since I came back. It’s true that I worked, but even like this you need luck to be where I am today.”

Nadal’s resurgence has inevitably prompted talk of him overhauling Pete Sampras (14) and Roger Federer (17) following his 13th Grand Slam title.

But in typical Nadal fashion, the eight-time French Open champion insisted he wants to savour his latest success at Flushing Meadows before making future career targets.

“It is much more than what I ever thought, than what I ever dreamed [of winning]. This one means a lot.”

He added: “The only thing I can say is the same as I do every time.

“I’m going to keep working hard. I’m going to keep doing my things to have more chances in the future to be competitive and to give me more chances to win the tournaments like this one.

“But 13 is an amazing number.”

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