Toni Nadal, the coach and uncle of Rafael Nadal, tells the web site Puntodebreak that his nephew cried after beating Novak Djokovic for the 2012 Roland Garros title because of the stressful, topsy-turvy nature of the match and his rivalry with the Serb.
“Rafael had been playing very well all the clay season, had not dropped a set, and was in position to win Roland Garros on the day before the final,” Toni Nadal said. “On Sunday [he was up] two sets to love, it started to rain, it stopped, the court was very heavy and Djokovic started to play better than him. The picture changed completely. Rafael had lost three Grand Slam finals against Djokovic in Australia, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open. When you come back on Monday to continue playing you know that the landscape has changed. You are down a break in the fourth and you know the importance of not losing. Because for us it would not have been a failure, but a blow. When you've played a season on clay perfectly and get to Roland Garros, the most important tournament, the culmination of that [clay-court season], and end up losing, it would have been a blow. There was a lot of tension.”