Toni Nadal, known as the most famous “uncle” in tennis, recently spoke about the condition of his nephew, Rafa Nadal, during an interview in the radio program RMC’s Bartoli Time. The former coach and mentor of the 22-time Grand Slam champion stated that he is certain that Rafa will return to the court, but only under one very clear condition: feeling 100% fit.
“I spoke to him on Saturday. He will only return if he is in good condition, at 100%,” Toni affirmed insistently during the program. “He knows that otherwise it won’t do him any good. He played the Australian Open without being at his best and we saw how he did. I think he wants to feel good again. He wants to arrive at Roland Garros with confidence and in good physical condition. For now, we have to wait. But he still has the mindset to try to win again.”
Toni continues to believe that despite the many and increasingly stronger rivals, including new stars, when his nephew is on the court at Roland Garros, everything changes and beating him becomes very difficult. “I have said many times about Rafa that even if he doesn’t arrive in good condition, when he enters Philippe Chatrier, everything changes. He needs some not-too-difficult matches to grow. I know that Zverev, Alcaraz, Djokovic, Rune, Rublev are very strong. But with his mindset, I also know that Rafa can win. I want to think the same this year too.”
Despite Rafa’s physical struggles after countless battles on the court, the Nadal family remains optimistic about his chances. Toni states that Rafa will only return when he is 100% ready but it seems unlikely that he will arrive in Paris without having played any official matches. However, time is running out, and it will not be easy for him to find good physical condition to be competitive in the Slam that means everything to him, where he built his legendary career victory after victory.