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Toni Nadal Believes Rafa Can Win Roland-Garros in 2023

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday February 2, 2023

Toni Nadal, the legendary uncle and former longtime coach of King of Clay Rafael Nadal, tells Vanity Fair that he believes his nephew has another Roland-Garros title in him. After that? “We’ll see,” he says.

Tennis Express

Toni, who currently works with Felix Auger-Aliassime on the tour in addition to his duties at the Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy in Mallorca, says that it’s only natural that the 36-year-old Spaniard has been struggling with injuries at this phase of his career.

"It is true that Rafael has a very punished body, but it is also true that he has been on the professional circuit since he was 16 years old and that is something you pay for," Toni said. "There are many years of hitting the ball and moving at high intensity. When you have that, it is easy for the body to fail here today and there tomorrow.”

But, Nadal says, he still believes that a 15th Roland-Garros title could be in the cards this spring.

“I trust that he can lift the Roland Garros trophy this year, and then we'll see,” he said.

Nadal has been struggling with myriad injuries over the last year, including a foot injury that needed frequent injections at Roland-Garros last year, a stress fracture in his rib and an abdominal issue. He hoped to play the Australian Open in good health but suffered a hip injury that derailed him during his second-round encounter with American Mackenzie McDonald.

On January 18, Nadal reported that he could miss six to eight weeks with the hip injury. Before that diagnosis, the Spaniard appeared determined to continue fighting to reach his best level on tour, no matter the adversity.

“I don't need to talk and explain the feelings,” he said after his loss to McDonald. “It was not the right moment to have something like this now. At the end, you need to keep going, no? Sometimes it's frustrating. Sometimes it's difficult to accept. Sometimes you feel super tired about all this stuff in terms of injuries.