Nadal Closes In on Rod Laver Record

Rafael Nadal will head into January’s Australian Open looking to become only the second player ever to win all four grand slams twice. The world number one is just behind four-time champion Novak Djokovic with Betfair to win the Australian Open title.

The Spaniard is looking to join Rod Laver as the only other player in history to achieve that feat, and Nadal will be looking to challenge the Djokovic, the odds-on favourite, to win the opening Grand Slam of the year.

Nadal has won the French Open eight times, Wimbledon twice and the US Open twice but the Australian Open only once, but will head into January’s tournament on the back of a sensational 2013. After returning from a seven-month lay-off, Nadal went on to dominate much of the season and climb back to the top of the rankings.

Winning the US Open in September has now put Nadal in a position where victory in Melbourne next month would take him alongside Laver as the second player to win each Grand Slam at least twice.

But the Spaniard’s uncle and coach Toni Nadal said the 27-year-old is concentrating on performing at the Melbourne event and cementing his reputation as one of the best players in history.

“The challenge in 2014 will be to win Australia, because it would achieve something only Rod Laver did, which is twice winning the four (grand slams),” Nadal’s coach insisted.

“I do not put Rafael on a pedestal because it’s my family, although I know that he is one of the best ever.”

Nadal has reached the last eight of the Australian Open in six of the last seven years – he did not compete in 2013 due to injury – but only went on to lift the trophy in 2009. And the Spaniard has been well backed by Betfair customers to win the first major of 2013.

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