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Nadal refuses to talk about pursuing Federer’s record.

“I think about the number ‘10.’ That’s what I have at home. That’s what I’m able to see when I go back home, in my bedroom,” Nadal said. “I don’t have 11, I don’t have 12, I don’t have 15, or 16; 16 is very far. I believe the number is not going stop there. Roger will have more chances to win more.”

Others are more willing to assess Nadal’s chances of surpassing Federer.

Sampras, for one, said this week he wouldn’t be surprised to see Nadal do it.

Nadal has won 20 consecutive matches at Wimbledon and is 32-2 at the grass-court Grand Slam since the start of the 2006 tournament, reaching five finals in a row.

He lost to Federer in the 2006 and 2007 finals, and beat him for the 2008 title _ those were three of their seven 1-vs.-2 major championship matches _ then missed Wimbledon in 2009 because of tendinitis in his knees, before beating Tomas Berdych in last year’s final.

John McEnroe was ranked No. 1 when he lost to No. 2 Jimmy Connors in the 1982 Wimbledon final. But there wasn’t another 1-2 title match at the All England Club until 2004, when No. 1 Federer beat No. 2 Andy Roddick. They repeated that matchup a year later, and then Federer and Nadal began their string of finals.

Now Nadal and Djokovic meet in what might only wind up being the first top-two Grand Slam final between them.

No matter what Monday’s rankings will say, McEnroe knows which of those he thinks is No. 1 for now: Nadal.

“The guy’s one of the greats, no doubt about it,” McEnroe said, “and you can make an argument for him being the greatest.”


AP Sports Writer Caroline Cheese contributed to this report.


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