Something that fans usually want to know about their sports idols is if they thought, when they were young and only starting out, that they were going to become as good as they have turned out to be. Rafael Nadal's fans are no exception, and they took advantage of a Q&A organized by the Rafa Nadal Academy to ask Toni Nadal if he had imagined that his nephew and ex-player would become the ATP's number one and stay at the top of men's tennis for many years.
"I always wanted to believe that Rafa could be a very good tennis player," the Spanish coach answered. "How good? I didn’t know. But I felt he could be very good, because I wanted to believe. It’s impossible to work very hard and work with passion when you don’t have confidence.
For this reason, I wanted to have confidence, and it’s true, I have always seen good possibilities in Rafael." And no one can say that Toni was wrong. With his 19 Grand Slam titles, Rafael Nadal is only a step behind Roger Federer on the race to the record of most Grand Slam titles won by a male tennis player in the Open Era.
Would he have equalled the Swiss Maestro's score if the coronavirus outbreak hadn't forced the Tour to be suspended? In the best of cases, we will only have to wait until September rolls by, bringing the US and French Open, to know.