Nadal is only 7 Slams away. He seems immune to pressure, because he's never felt the pressure forever deflecting it on to someone else, usually Roger.
So, I don't think it will be as hard to achieve the Slam total for him as it was Roger...with Roger everyone expected him to be spectacular even before he won a title. The talk of breaking Pete's record had started when he was still in single digits.
Nadal has benefited enormously from Roger's presence. Furthermore, for the first few years he was "just" a clay courter, and when he made a mark on other surfaces, everyone was surprised. Wow, look at this boy who tries so hard. We shouldn't expect him to win, because, look he's already trying so hard.
Furthermore, Nadal hasn't had to do deal with the pressure of not winning one of the 4 majors. He won USO 10, gift wrapped to him...so, there's no striving for the goal.
Of course, no one talks about his abysmal performance at the WTF, and indeed, it appears that the media diminishes that tournament's significance, saying it's at the tail end, everyone is tired or injured etc.
It says something about the homogeneity of court surfaces and the balls when both Nadal and Djokovic have won 3 Slams in a year. When Roger did it (3 times) it was considered incredible. Just to win Wimbledon/RG back to back was considered a feat! Now, all of this is par for the course.
From RF.com feddy052377 Written on:
01/28/2012 | 10:41 PM
A lot of really good stuff here. 7 slams is still a lot and no easy feat, but a win today will send him hurtling closer to his goal.
Great point about the early pressure on Federer practically ever since his fourth slam win , i.e., the 2004 USO. After that amazing performance, everyone talked about him possibly becoming the greatest ever and the talk of the career slam and grand slam started then and put pressure on Federer for a long time. In addition, ever since 2006, statistically the greatest season in ATP tour history along with perhaps JMac's '84 season, people have pestered Federer about RN. People were calling RN the "real #1" during Fed's 2006 year!
Having Fed a repository of deflected pressure has indeed greatly benefited RN although it can be said that had it not been for Federer's tremendous play, RN might already have a good argument for GOAT as he would have had the most weeks ever at #1 (RN had enough points in 2005-2007 to be #
1 in most years).
Unfortunately for Federer, most people will forget about all of his extraordinary achievements, cf., wikipedia page as the achievements are too numerous to enumerate which make the case for him as GOAT IF RN gets close to the slam count. Federer is so much more than the slam count. His level of success over the past eight years or so is simply unparallelled; he has been greatness personified on every surface, at every tournament, seemingly NEVER blown out, and always in every match against every opponent on every surface. His F's, SFs, QFs streaks, his streak of winning titles, streak against top 10 opponents, overall against the top 10, etc., etc., will all be overlooked if RN gets close to 16 because of the H-to-H advantage, even though that advantage is the result of unique historical parameters.