Toni Nadal revealed a conversation he had with his nephew Rafael before the Rome Open. Nadal was coming from his losses to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Madrid, Dominic Thiem in Barcelona and Fabio Fognini in Monte Carlo. "I remember when I was in Rome, I told him, ‘Rafael, don’t think too much, because you are not too far from the level’.
Because I have seen the practice and I said, ‘Okay, a little more and I’m sure you can play well’. And then he told me, ‘Ahh’. For him was not a good moment but I said, ‘What you have to do is to win here in Rome and then you have to win in Roland-Garros and then you can have a very good summer’.
Which he has done”. "I repeat it every year, but I am forced to repeat it again, it's unbelievable. The artist Picasso said that the inspiration comes from the work, it's the same for Rafael. The inspiration is good, but the work is essential.
I heard many times that he is not very talented. Today he holds 18 Grand Slam titles." "Rafa knows that every year it's tougher. Against Dominic, it was difficult. I think that he is weaker than when in 2008 he defeated Roger Federer.
But he is still strong enough to beat a strong opponent like Dominic Thiem. I hope he will have the chance to win another French Open."