Reaching the French Open final at Roland Garros is a great achievement for an outsider. Beating Dominic Thiem for Rafael Nadal seemed almost an expectation for the former world number one who is currently world number four.
But he’s there. He is facing Stan Wawrinka, who dispensed with Andy Murray in the semi-final to set up the match with the Spaniard.
One man who thinks Nadal has a challenge on his hands is his own coach, his uncle Toni Nadal. After beating Thiem, Toni said: “Today he did not play very well.”
Nadal has been suffering with a knee injury, an injury that worries his coach, who said, “Let’s see what we can do at Wimbledon. If he can play there without being troubled with his knee, it will be very important.”
It will be an interesting matchup for Nadal against Wawrinka in the final of the French Open, with him already commenting on the danger of his opponent’s shots but Nadal’s coach expected his man to make it this far after discussions prior to the 2017 season.
The Nadals has an in-depth discussion before going into the 2017 season.
Nadal hit rock bottom last year in the Shanghai Masters when he finished his season crashing out in the second round to Viktor Troicki.
Nadal's meeting with his uncle
Following that defeat, Rafael Nadal called a meeting with his uncle and coach and the two had a frank discussion about changing his training to make him world number one again.
It opened with the player saying until his wrist was better, he wouldn’t be returning. His coach agreed, adding that they needed to recover his forehand and improve his serve.
"I remember last year when he decided to stop, we had a meeting in the academy," Toni Nadal said, per Tennis World.
"He said ‘we have to talk’. I said ‘good, what do you have to do for next year?' First he told me ‘until my wrist is better, I won’t come back’. 'Okay, then what do we have to do next year? We have to recover your forehand, you have to play your forehand harder, you have to improve your serve.'
"'You have to change because life has changed and the game gets faster and faster every year.' Then I said ‘you have to change your face. You have to be competitive every tournament. It’s the same if you have problems or not.'
"'If you can make this, then you have no reason not to be again at the top, but you have to make these changes. It’s your problem, you have to make these changes or not, do what you want.'"
Can Nadal become the world number one again? Let us know in the comments section below!
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms