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"Fighting to the end is in his DNA, he is the best in history" - Uncle Toni on Rafael Nadal's French Open triumph

2017 French Open final trophy ceremony
2017 French Open final trophy ceremony
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Aayush Majumdar

Rafael Nadal's uncle and former coach, Toni Nadal, is one of the few people to have seen the rise of the Mallorcan over the years from close quarters. However, his nephew's ability to triumph against the odds still seems to surprise Toni.

The Spaniard fought through a chronic foot injury, beating four top-10 players including Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud en route to his 14th French Open title earlier this month.

Speaking during an interview with Cadena SER, Toni Nadal opened up on one of the most memorable Grand Slam campaigns by his nephew, who he termed "the best in history." The coach expressed that fighting to the limit is in Nadal's DNA, but admitted that he never imagined the 36-year-old could win the French Open this year.

"It is incredible that my limping nephew continues to win. Fighting to the end is in his DNA," expressed Toni. He was at a great level and wanted to continue fighting, he is the best in history. What he has done is incredible, I never would have imagined it."
🗓 June 5th 🗓17 years and 14 titles later...@RafaelNadal #RolandGarros https://t.co/Xnwv8fPzvT

The 61-year-old further stated that he cannot wait to congratulate his nephew on the Roland Garros title.

"As soon as I see him, I'm going to congratulate him. This year has been more comfortable than expected, because of everything around me, I'm excited," he said further.

Upon arriving in Spain after the conclusion of the French Open, the 22-time Grand Slam champion underwent treatment for his injured foot in Barcelona and was seen on crutches soon after. After Sunday's final, he briefly spoke about the course of treatment, which involves a radio-frequency injection on the nerves in his foot for semi-permanent relief.

Rafa Nadal en muletas tras completar la primera parte del tratamiento de radiofrecuencia en su pie.Los próximos días serán clave para ver si puede jugar Wimbledon.https://t.co/EGM0TtNt1Z

He is expected to rest for a few days before testing his fitness in a few practice sessions and subsequently making a decision on his participation at Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal's uncle is optimistic about his nephew's tennis future

Olympics - Previews - Day -2
Olympics - Previews - Day -2

There has been a lot of talk about the former World No. 1's potential retirement from the sport. By his own admission, the foot injury is currently worse than ever and he does not wish to continue playing if the new treatment and other options do not work.

However, Uncle Toni believes that there is still more tennis left in his nephew and wants to see him play in Paris again.

"Rafa has been living with pain since 2005, but it always goes on. If there is a shred of hope left, he keeps trying. That is his sporting greatness. I hope that he be in Paris next year, watching him play. We will see the evolution of the coming months. There is a time when the body does not give for more, and I trust that this point has not come for him," he expressed.
@DaveJamesafp Rafael Nadal's longevity compared with other tennis players (between their first and last Grand Slam men's singles title in the Open Era since 1968)#AFPgraphics https://t.co/NVnwjaMkcb

Edited by Keshav Gopalan
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