Toni Nadal admits he is positively surprised with what his nephew Rafael Nadal has been able to accomplish while battling the Mueller-Weiss syndrome for nearly two decades now. This past Sunday, Nadal won a record 22nd Grand Slam title after beating Casper Ruud in the French Open final.
“I never imagined that my nephew would win everything he has won. I am surprised by what Rafa does, that with the pain he has, he is able to think about the ball and not about his foot”. Toni Nadal said in an interview with Punto de Break.
In the 2019 Monte Carlo Masters semifinal, Nadal suffered a shock defeat to Fabio Fognini. After the match, Nadal told his uncle about his intention to skip the French Open. However, nothing happened as Nadal decided to play the French Open and won the title at Roland Garros that year.
“In 2019, in Monte Carlo, he lost to [Fabio] Fognini and told me that he couldn't take it anymore, that he needed a break and that he wasn't going to Roland Garros. He told me that he was tired of being in pain,” Toni Nadal said.
Toni Nadal was confident Nadal could win the French Open
Just two weeks before the French Open, Nadal was severely hampered by his foot in Rome and suffered a shock three-set loss versus Denis Shapovalov. In the Rome last-16, Shapovalov handed Nadal a 1-6 7-5 6-2 loss.
After the match, Uncle Toni told his nephew he could win the French Open if he was able to deliver the level from the first set of the Shapovalov match. A few weeks later, Uncle Toni proved to be right. “After Rome, I told Rafa that if he played like he did in the first set against [Denis] Shapovalov, the level was to win Roland Garros,” Toni Nadal said. “If he can play, Rafa is a candidate to win Wimbledon. There he made five finals in a row”.