Spain’s Rafael Nadal clinched his 16th Grand Slam title after routing Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-3, 6-3, and 6-4 in the final of the US Open Championships on Sunday. It marked the third US Open crown for the "Bull of Manacor" who waited three years to reign anew in Flushing Meadows. With another major title in the books, the question now is will Nadal eventually catch up with Grand Slam king Roger Federer and become the greatest tennis player of all time?

Living the moment

Three. That’s the number of Grand Slams that separates Nadal from Federer. The two tennis legends are having career revivals after struggling under the shadow of then super-dominant Novak Djokovic the past few years.

However, the Serb’s recent fitness problem allowed men’s tennis’s most decorated duo to dominate the Grand Slams with Federer winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon Championships and Nadal regaining the French and US Open titles.

Now, the 31-year-old Nadal is once again threatening to surpass Federer’s major titles output with at least a couple of years left in his prime. The Spaniard looked healthier than ever during his recent championship run after knee and wrist injuries hindered him in previous campaigns. All of a sudden, Nadal is riding on a big momentum that could catapult him to the pinnacle of men’s tennis.

Yet, Nadal isn’t thinking much about chasing his rival’s Grand Slam haul. He understands that winning three major titles is still a daunting task with the return of Djokovic and Andy Murray to top form and the emergence of rising stars like Anderson and Sascha Zverev.

"I really never thought much about that. I just do my way. He does his way. Let's see when we finish, no? Of course if I will win two Grand Slams this year and he will not win, we'll be closer, but it still happens one more year and he has 19, I think. I have 16. So three is big difference,” Nadal said in the post-match interview.

Uncle Toni’s future

Nadal also addressed the future of his uncle and former head mentor, toni nadal, in his coaching staff. Toni, who had been a permanent fixture in Nadal’s coach's box since his junior years, will no longer work full-time with his nephew. Instead, the elder Nadal will now focus on his duty as the top resident coach in Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy.

However, Nadal stressed that his uncle Toni is open to join the team anytime he wants, but for now he feels more comfortable working with Carlos Moya and Francisco Roig. Moya joined Nadal’s camp just before the start of the 2017 ATP season, while Roig has been part of the team since 2005.