Nadal ready to defend his kingdom in 2009

Rafael Nadal finally catapulted himself to the top of the rankings in 2008. And rest assured, the regal Spaniard is mentally and physically ready to deal with the taxing obstacles that lie ahead.

Originally Published: December 30, 2008
By Rogelio Mora | ESPN.com deportes

Is this temporary? Perhaps a pause in the Federer era? Or is Rafael Nadal destined to become the founder of a new era? How long will Nadal remain at the top of the tennis world?

"I believe he could stay as the No. 1 easily two or three more years," said Carlos Costa, Nadal's agent. "He will have a hard battle this year, but he is the best player right now."

Legendary and contemporary stars such as Rod Laver -- the only pro to win the four Grand Slams in the same year ...

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