In a recent interview, Toni Nadal recalled a funny thing happened prior to a Monte Carlo Masters final. Rafael Nadal won 11 crowns there, but in the beginning and still now he has been very humble. "I remember many years ago before playing against a Swiss (Federer), we were supposed to be retired already since a long time (due to a foot injury in 2005, and he asked me: "How do you see the match)?" And I replied: "Difficult.
He has a better forehand than you, a better backhand, volley, serve" Rafael told me: "This is what you tell me before a match?" And I said: "If you want I can lie, but in a short time Federer will not lie"
Then we looked for solutions and I told him: "Play every point like if it was a match point, like if life depended on it, like if you think you can win it in the end" In the end, he won. We have to say that it was a clay-court.
Years ago being in Carlos Moya's house, he asked me: "Would you sign for Rafael to be an Albert Costa?" Albert Costa was coming from winning a French Open and being world No. 7. I said: "No no, I do not sign for it"
He was surprised with my answer and he asked me again: "Would you sign for Rafael to be a Carlos Moya?" He had won a French Open, reached Australian Open final, was a world No. 1. I was in Carlos Moya's house and I told him "Man, I may sign for it, clearly.
But when we - I was there with Rafael - were about to leave, I said: "I do not sign for it at all" I always wanted to get higher."