Despite his troubles with a foot injury in the lead-up to the French Open, Rafael Nadal has romped through the draw to reach the semifinals in Paris. He got past Novak Djokovic's challenge relatively unscathed in the last eight on Tuesday.
Former Spanish tennis player Marc Lopez has said that his compatriot has always had the ability to play through pain, having done so for much of his career.
"It's an important, chronic injury, but I think he'll be able to lead a normal life when he retires. You cannot be negative thinking that he is going to leave tennis. I hope and wish he goes to Wimbledon. But in the end, Rafael Nadal he is someone who bears pain well," Lopez said.
The Spaniard revealed he had a conversation with Nadal the morning after his win against Djokovic, adding that the soon-to-be 36-year-old has moved on quickly and is looking forward to the next match.
"We talked about the match against Novak Djokovic this morning and it's already history. After the second set, Rafael Nadal went to the bathroom, wiped the slate clean and played in an incredible way," Lopez said.
He also said that Nadal felt the aftereffects of the quarterfinal victory the next morning.
"After the match against Djokovic, after wear and tear like yesterday, today he got up with a little pain, but he could move well," Lopez added.
Nadal and Lopez were teammates at the 2016 Olympics, with the Spanish pair winning the gold medal in the men's doubles.
Rafael Nadal takes on Alexander Zverev in the French Open semifinals
Nadal beat Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4) in the quarterfinals. Next up for the Spaniard is Germany's Alexander Zverev, who registered his first-ever top-10 win in a Grand Slam when he defeated Spain's Carloz Alcaraz 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7).
This will be the 10th meeting between the pair, with Nadal having a favourable 6-3 record over Zverev. If Rafael Nadal gets past Zverev, he will face either Casper Ruud or Marin Cilic in the summit clash on Sunday.