By Chito Ebriega ( | First Posted: Sep 23, 2013 10:12 AM EDT

Tennis star Rafael Nadal, right, could face his rival Roger Federer, left, at the 2013 Paris Masters. Both play on Wednesday. (Photo : Reuters)

Rafael Nadal enters the Asian circuit of the ATP Tour still trailing Novak Djokovic for the no. 1 spot in the world rankings. But for tennis writer Adam Gardner, Nadal did not only prove he's the best tennis player right now, but perhaps the greatest of all time.  

Gardner, a writer for iSports Web, gave concrete details on why Nadal has slowly narrowed the gap between him and the universally recognized greatest tennis player ever in Roger Federer.

Nadal, who already amassed 13 Grand Slam championships along with an Olympic gold medal in singles play and four Davis Cup crowns at age of 27, is stirring debate around the tennis world following his spectacular comeback that put him in a very exclusive group of elite netters.

With his latest victory in Flushing Meadows, Nadal joined Pete Sampras and Federer as the only players with at least 13 Grand Slam championships on their trophy shelf. The Spaniard is also one major title away from matching the Grand Slam haul of the American great and three to tie Federer's record of 17 majors crowns.

Even more, many tennis followers and analysts are already beginning to consider Nadal as the greatest ever, given his list of accomplishments (26 Masters, 14 ATP World Tour 500 and a Career Golden Slam) as well as his Grand Slam wins and his impeccable head-to-head record against Federer (21-10), Murray (13-5) and Djokovic (22-15).  

"There are already some who name him as the best ever, and if he claims four more Grand Slam titles, reaching the current milestone of Federer's 17, it won't even be a debate anymore," said Gardner in his article.

"Sure, people will still talk about who was better to watch, and I'll defend to the death that Federer's game was more absorbing and beautiful, especially in person. But Nadal will have the head-to-head record over him (not to mention every other notable player of the past decade) and with the numbers to match; nobody will be able to deny it," he added.

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