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French Open – Rafael Nadal before the end of his career? This is how uncle Toni assesses the situation before the match against Djokovic

“I’m in the quarter-finals of Roland-Garros and I’m just enjoying being here for another year. Every match could be my last here in Roland-Garros,” said Rafael Nadal after the five-set thriller in the round of 16 against Félix Auger-Aliassime said and thus caused great excitement in the tennis world.

The 13-time winner last time in Paris? For many unthinkable.

When asked about his nephew’s plans, Toni Nadal said in an interview with the Spanish radio station “Onda Cero”: “I didn’t talk to him more than necessary. I hope he gets his problems under control and keeps playing for a while .”

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The chronic injury on his left foot, the so-called Müller-Weiss syndrome, made it difficult for Nadal again in the run-up to the French Open. The suffering had already cost the 35-year-old the entire second half of 2021 before he brilliantly returned to the tour and won the Australian Open.

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Toni Nadal warns his nephew: do not seriously damage health

But for that Nadal had to suffer: “I went through a hard process with my foot again. I don’t know what will happen with my career in the near future, so I’m just trying to enjoy as much as possible and fight to keep the dream going to live,” said the Spaniard. The injury has been with him since the beginning of his long career and causes him sporadic problems again and again.

“If you have more pain than you should, it tires you. Rafael competes with others because he thinks he can win, but with pain his options are limited,” explained Toni Nadal, warning his nephew and ex-protégé not to not putting too much strain on your body.

“In sport we should make sure that the health of the players is not seriously damaged after the end of their careers. It’s always going to the limit, more and more, always harder – and the body has problems to endure it,” said the 61-year-old: “You should set yourself a limit. Otherwise you pay a dear price.”

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Nadal’s last match in Paris? Uncle Toni confident

For the record Grand Slam winner, it’s getting harder every year, the hardships are getting bigger. “But I think he still has enough time to recover,” says Toni Nadal: “I’m confident it won’t be his last match in Roland-Garros.”

In order to get one step further this year, he has to clear what is probably the biggest hurdle at the moment: world number one Novak Djokovic.

The Serb had beaten Nadal in four sets in the semifinals last year, now the record winner from Paris wants revenge. Always assuming the body holds up.

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