Toni Nadal, the uncle and coach of nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal, says that his nephew can win the Roland Garros title for a 10th time this year.
In an interview with Tennis World, Nadal senior said that after Rafa won his ninth Monte Carlo Masters win last week he now feels this nephew can be considered one of the favourites to win the French Open, along with world number one Novak Djokovic.
“Yes. Rafael is at a level that could allow him to be a clear favourite to win. The top favourite will be Novak Djokovic, but the level showed by Rafa indicates that he can be one of the favourites,” Nadal senior told World Tennis.
“As for his game and confidence, the victory in Monte Carlo is more than one title because Rafael moved like before, mentally he was so strong, he handled the difficulties. The matches like the one against Murray that required a better playing level were a plus.”
Thank you all for your support. Very happy for this win and now it's time to celebrate it with the team. pic.twitter.com/v2zlhkC8M3
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) April 17, 2016
The coach added that the reason for him saying Rafa was a contender in the second grand slam of the year was because his confidence and passion was back.
“The sportsman lives by passion and for us it was motivating to win again and be at a high level. That’s what Rafa did in the last tournaments, both in Indian Wells and especially in Monte Carlo.
“The good game Rafael had in the training sessions was not translated in the tournaments for one reason or the other before. That was because of nerves and lack of confidence.
“This week has been the most complete one that Rafael has had recently. More or less, we know we are on the right path.”