Carlos Moya, Rafael Nadal's co-coach, says the 30-year-old is on top of his game as he begins play at the French Open.
“With Rafa, you always expect the best,” Moya told the ATP website before Nadal's opening match against Benoit Paire, which he won in straight sets. “His level has been very high and we have arrived on the right path.”
The former No. 1, who began working with Nadal during this past off-season, sees him hitting the ball effectively off of both sides.
"The backhand has been working very well, all along," said Moya, who also believes Nadal has improved his biggest weapon, his forehand, after experiencing some problems with his signature shot. "Now it is returning to dominate a lot. He's hitting the ball with high quality."
Nadal's serving, which has been uneven during his career, is currently helping him get on the offensive, added Moya: "He has great variation in his serve as well, and the second serve is strong."
Nadal has reasserted himself this season following recent problems with illness and injury. The nine-time French Open champion is motivated to such a degree that Moya has found it difficult to get Nadal off the practice court.
"He always wants to train to the maximum possible but we are in a very good balance,” said Moya. “Of course there are more nerves here. It's Roland Garros. We understand that.
"All the goals we marked at the start of the season are being achieved.”
Tennis Channel's Daily Serve recaps Day 2 at Roland Garros: