Uncle Toni: 'Rafael Nadal couldn’t run 3 hours before 2009 AO final'

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Uncle Toni: 'Rafael Nadal couldn’t run 3 hours before 2009 AO final'

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have played some matches that will remain in the history of this sport forever. Their 2017 Australian Open final was one of the more highly anticipated major finals in tennis history. Other matches considered particularly notable include the 2006 Italian Open final, 2007 Wimbledon final, and 2009 Australian Open final, with each match going to five sets.

In a recent interview with Eurosport, Toni Nadal recalled the 2009 Australian Open final: “I know the match was really, really difficult. In the last game 5/4 for Rafael in the 5th set, 0/40. Then Verdasco won 15/40, 30/40 and Rafael was almost crying in that moment, because he was so tense.

And we were lucky that Verdasco double-faulted on the match point. Because if not, I don’t know whether Rafa would have won that match. It was a very tough match. I remember when Rafael went to warm up 3 hours before playing the final Rafael was exhausted.

He had pain in his arms, in his shoulder, he had a headache. He had a lot of problems. He didn’t look good." Did you discuss the Wimbledon final in 2008 beforehand? “The Wimbledon final was 6 months ago. We didn’t talk about that.

Our problem before going on court to play this final was Rafael’s physical condition. I wanted to motivate him. He told me that he couldn’t run. And I told him for 2 hours: You have to try. You have to make this. But he told me all the time that he could not.

I think every victory, every important victory, gives a lot of confidence. But the confidence always lasts for some time only, it’s not for forever. If you beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon, you know that you can beat him in Australia, too.

It’s possible, it’s not easy but it’s possible. He can win this match. At the end, I think it was a very good match”.