Uncle Toni: "Rafael Nadal risked not leaving for Australia"

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Uncle Toni: "Rafael Nadal risked not leaving for Australia"

In a recent interview with Cadena SER, Toni Nadal admitted he was surprised by the performance offered by his nephew Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open 2022. Toni said: "Rafael Nadal's state of form surprised me, I have to be honest.

Three days before he left for Australia, Rafa called my son to swap some balls." Then he added: "He had just disposed of the after-effects of the Coronavirus. At nine we went to train and he wasn't sure if it was a good idea to leave for Australia.

The flight was imminent and the situation was not the most optimistic. Then he recovered and decided to give it a try. I think the excitement of returning to play pushed him more than the hope of being able to reach the end of the AO."

Speaking to Eurosport, John McEnroe praised Rafa's tenacity: "Denis Shapovalov had the game in hand at one point, but Nadal was very good at putting pressure on him in the decisive moments. This is what makes the Spaniard a tennis legend.

Shapovalov needs a further mental leap to win a Major."

Rafa at the AO 2022

Rafael Nadal has tamed Denis Shapovalov's comeback attempt and on Friday will hunt for a place in the final at the Australian Open 2022.

The former world number 1 amazed everyone once again, having turned up in Melbourne without great expectations. He then defeated Matteo Berrettini in teh semifinal, to got the last act of the Slam Down Under, in a super final against Daniil Medvedev.

The Spanish champion was limited to just seven official tournaments in 2021, thanks to a serious foot injury that forced him to miss Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open. As if that weren't enough, the 35-year-old from Manacor tested positive for Coronavirus after his performance in Abu Dhabi, leading many experts to believe that he would have given up on the Happy Slam.

The Iberian is desperately chasing his 21st career major, which would allow him to overtake Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time rankings. The expulsion of the Serbian from the country helped Rafa, who was drawn in the same segment of the board as Nole.