While many have contemplated whether former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal will be fit enough to continue his remarkable streak at the French Open, his coach and uncle, Toni, is quite confident that the June Grand Slam result will be the same as it has been over the past few years.
“I firmly believe that if we walk this way, Rafa can win the Roland Garros. He’s not physically at 100%” Toni said told Canal + (via tennisworldusa.org) ’The problem is to maintain this level for a long time. Roland Garros courts fit with his way of playing, but the first goal is to come back feeling good on the court, hitting with high intensity and never letting the guard down, which is one thing we haven’t done in the recent tournaments.”
Most recently, eventual champion Novak Djokovic toppled Nadal in the semi-final round of the Monte Carlo Masters event. While the final score was 6-3, 6-3, it does not adequately represent the competitiveness of the encounter. The Spaniard held a break lead at the start of the match but was unable to maintain that lead as the contest went on.
While the end result was not what they wanted, the pair left Monte Carlo with positive emotions about their week there.
“We leave Monte Carlo in a better way than when we arrived here. We approached in the right way even if we knew that Rafa wasn’t playing at his best. Against Djokovic he wasn’t enough physically prepared, he wasn’t used to such high intensity. Moreover, the tough match against Ferrer prejudiced a bit his physical form. To play against the best player in the world you have to be perfectly prepared, and we weren’t. Until the physical form supported him, he played in a good way.”
Even Nadal himself expressed his satisfaction with his performances this past week in Monte Carlo, although he refused to project into the future.
“For me, is a very positive week. The most positive week of the season, without any doubt,” said Nadal. “I think, if I am able to keep doing that in the next tournament in Barcelona, and I have a tough draw, I will say that I am very well again.
“The most important thing, what’s helping me really, is that I am with the right motivation to play tennis, the right motivation to work hard every day, and with the right attitude. That’s why I was able to play better this week than the previous weeks.”