Uncle Toni: Rafa has been in worse pain than Roger was at Indian Wells

by: Matt Cronin March 20, 2013

AP Photo

Toni Nadal, the uncle and coach of Rafael Nadal, says that in his opinion, Roger Federer was not seriously injured when he lost to his nephew in straight sets in the quarterfinals of Indian Wells last week. Federer had a back injury.

“Federer has beaten us more than once with Rafael having significantly more pain than [Roger] was in at Indian Wells,” Toni Nadal told Puntodebreak.com. “I'm clear that the situation of Federer [at Indian Wells] was no worse than that Rafael has had on many other occasions.”

Toni Nadal also named his favorites for Roland Garros. He said seven-time Roland Garros champion Rafa is not the clear favorite, but just one of a group of favorites that includes Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Juan Martin del Potro, and David Ferrer. He added that he does not see former champion Federer as a favorite.

Toni Nadal also said that the Federer-Nadal era of dominance is over and that the world’s best player is now No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

“It is likely that in the coming years we will see more players with chances to win,” he said. “The players I see with chances to fight for the Grand Slam tournaments are those we all know: The top four in the rankings. If Rafael is healthy he is one of them. But then I also think that del Potro will be there for sure. I also think it’s clear that Ferrer has a chance of winning a Grand Slam. David plays well everywhere, although it is true that he has never done it and being 30 years old can be a handicap, but game-wise he is more than capable. I would choose those six because I see others a little below them.”

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