Rafael Nadal faces a stern test as he goes up against long-time rival, Roger Federer in the semifinal of the French Open 2019. Whoever comes out on top will face either Dominic Thiem or reigning World Number 1, Novak Djokovic. Ahead of the clash, Nadal’s former coach, and uncle, Toni Nadal, has warned his nephew about Federer.

According to him, Roger Federer possesses the ability to preserve his energy. This was proved when he wasted no time in reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros. In fact, it was only quarterfinalist Stan Wawrinka who was able to snatch a set off Federer in the tournament.

In spite of his good form though, Federer is still considered the underdog, especially when going up against someone like Rafael Nadal. Uncle Toni is of the opinion that Federer will adopt an aggressive stance by trying to force the points to end quickly.

“Rafael must prevent Federer from attacking him all the time,” Toni Nadal said. “Federer, with the age he is, I understand, will try to force a quick game in which there is not much exchange of punches.”

“If Rafael agrees to the contrary, although I recognise that it is not easy to find weaknesses to one of the best players in history.”

Rafael Nadal
Toni Nadal

Toni is aware that stopping Federer is no easy task, but Rafael Nadal is capable of doing so.

“Rafael is making a Roland Garros quite complete,” Toni Nadal added. “He played very good first rounds, I was at the game against David Goffin, in which he lost a set. Not by mistake I think, but because he subtracted a bit badly.”

“Yesterday (Tuesday) he had a much more comfortable match than expected because Kei Nishikori is a great player.”

“My opinion is that Rafael is playing a high level since the Rome tournament, which changed everything for him, and that level is still maintained.”

Nick Kyrgios
Rafael Nadal and Toni Nadal