Rafael Nadal has set his sight on disposing Andy Murray as number one tennis in the world, but has identified fierce rival, Roger Federer, as his biggest threat to the crown.
Nadal and Federer have both enjoyed a stellar 2017 season, with both men having won three out of three of the Grand Slam events competed for this year.
While Nadal won the French Open, Federer holds both the Australian Open and the Wimbledon title, which he won recently, his eighth at the All England Club.
Nevertheless, both legends still find themselves behind Andy Murray, who’s the number one, but can displace him by the end of the year.
With Nadal and Murray having points to defend, 390 and 5460 respectively, Nadal says Federer, who has no points to defend, poses the most threat to his goal of finishing 2017 as the best ranked tennis player.
“It’s true that we [Roger and I] are better prepared to compete for nice things at the end of the year, but it depends on what we’re able to do from now until the end of the year. We’ll have to wait and see,” Nadal said.
“The person who will be able to keep his high level for a longer period of time will have more options to fight for the world number one ranking.
“But the same can be said of Murray and many others who are up there. Maybe they haven’t had the best six months this year, but they are also candidates,” he added.
Nadal and Federer will be competing against Murray at the Flushing Meadows next month, with Novak Djokovic announcing on Wednesday his season’s over.
Federer, with his latest win at Wimbledon, opened up a four-title Grand Slam, lead between him and rival, Nadal, as they both buildup for the final Grand Slam event of the season, the US Open.