Rafael Nadal reacts to closing the gap to Roger Federer's Grand Slam record

Rafael Nadal says it is an ‘honour’ to be battling Roger Federer for the all-time men’s Grand Slam record after securing his 19th major in Sunday’s US Open final.

The Spaniard overcame Daniil Medvedev in a thrilling 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 victory which lasted four hours and 51 minutes to claim his fourth title at Flushing Meadows.

It moves him just one Grand Slam title behind Federer’s record of 20 and while Nadal – who is five years younger – says he would like to eclipse his old rival, it’s not his ultimate goal.

Speaking after his win, Nadal said: ‘I would love to be the one who wins more, but I am not thinking and I not going to practice every day or not playing tennis for it. I am playing tennis because I love to play tennis.

‘I can’t just think about Grand Slams, no? Tennis is more than Grand Slams. I need to think about the rest of the things.

‘I play to be happy. Of course, the victory of today makes me super happy. But few weeks ago I won in Montreal and that was an important moment for me, too.’

He continued: ‘I feel honoured to be part of this battle. But I repeat the same: you can’t be all day looking next to you about if one having more or one having little bit less because you will be frustrated.

Most men’s Grand Slam singles titles

1. Roger Federer – 20
2. Rafael Nadal – 19
3. Novak Djokovic – 16
4. Pete Sampras – 14
5. Roy Emerson – 12

‘All the things that I achieved in my career are much more than what I ever thought and what I ever dream.

‘I would love to be the one who have more, yes. But I really believe that I will not be happier or less happy if that happens or not happen. What gives you the happiness is the personal satisfaction that you have given your best. In that way I am very, very calm, very pleased with myself.’

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