Rafael Nadal says he is ready to battle Roger Federer in the race to end the year as World No 1.
While Andy Murray still currently holds the top spot in the latest ATP rankings, but his lead over second-placed Nadal has shrunk to less than 300 points – and the Scot still has 5,460 points to defend in the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, Federer's victory at Wimbledon shot him up to third. While he still trails Murray by more than 1000 points after sitting out the entire clay-court season, he could easily make that up if the two players continue to follow similar trajectories for the remainder of the year.
As for Novak Djokovic, he now finds himself out of the equation despite lying in fourth place right behind Federer. The Serb has announced he will miss the rest of the season as the result of an elbow injury.
The sense is that it's Federer and Nadal – who between him them hold all three of the year's Grand Slam titles so far – who will be battling it out for top spot – and Nadal admits he sees it the same way.
The Spaniard is determined to focus on his own results, however, and not get too caught up in the head-to-head battle in the Race to London and the ATP rankings.
"The truth is, I always follow my own path," Nadal said on Argentine talk show Con Amigos Asi.
"It’s true that we [Roger and I] are better prepared to compete for nice things at the end of the year but it depends on what we’re able to do from now until the end of the year. We’ll have to wait and see.
"The person who will be able to keep his high level for a longer period of time will have more options to fight for the world No. 1 ranking.
"But the same can be said of Murray or [Novak] Djokovic (Nadal did not yet know Djokovic's fate) and many others who are up there. Maybe they haven’t had the best six months this year but they are also candidates."
Nadal was also quizzed about his desire to start a family and follow in the footsteps of fellow greats like Federer and Djokovic.
"I would love to have children – boys, girls – I’m a person who loves kids and I’m a family guy," he said.
"But also I tell you that the reality is the years keep passing… I would like to start to do all of this when my sporting life determines it.
"I think it’s also above all about looking after the kids.
"I don’t know if it (traveling the whole year round and playing tennis) is ideal."