In a chat to Tages Anzeiger, Rafael Nadal's coach Francis Roig commented on Spanish player's evolution and improvements. The Barcelona native said: "In the French Open final, Thiem won longer rallies, Rafa won shorter ones.
Now he has a bigger game than before. That's why he still has a lot of success. I am not saying he is a better player than 2005 when he was physically better. But now he has more options. He accepted that he had to develope as he was doing bad physically.
When he was 21 years old, after winning his third French Open title, I asked him until what age he would play. He said, 27 or 28 years. He is 33 and he is still out there. The body is important but the mind is even more important.
That's why the Big Three are unbelievable. If you do not like what you do on a daily job, you cannot keep at this level. And you should not think too far." "After Indian Wells, he did not have the energy for a long time.
Rafa needs to be involved in the game, otherwise, his level will drop. He cannot do things with 80 per cent of dedication. He always needs 100 per cent. He is a born competitor, even in golf. He has a 1 handicap, I have ten. Fortunately, we never put money at stake.
He has unbelievable abilities." "Rafa has no friends on court. He and Federer have a good relationship, but when they head into the court, they know how much is at stake. And what it means for the world of tennis. For me, that's the biggest rivalry ever."