No player, man or woman, has been as successful at a single grand slam as the "King of Clay" has been at Roland Garros. But as he discussed his nephew's achievements Sunday after the match, Toni revealed what he would say to Rafa once they met.
Three-time French Open victor Mats Wilander felt Thiem lost his way after winning the second set.
"So he will have normally a good chance of winning and being the favourite for the next three years".
John McEnroe asked Rafa, how is he unusually consistent at the clay major, "I don't know", Rafael Nadal said in a conversation with John McEnroe on Court Philippe-Chatrier."Just working hard and hold a passion for what I am doing, that's all".
But, after several years where he adjusting to grass proved problematic for his knees, Nadal appears to have found the right formula. "Not even 24 hours later, I have to step on court against another wonderful legend of our game, against the best clay court player of all time", Thiem said.
Nadal won the French Open for 12 times in 15 years. Had the roof not remained closed when they resumed on the second day - a contentious decision - he very well may have won.
"I will not play before Wimbledon, of course", he said. "I have been able to be very close to win another title there. I was so far off the ball and couldn't play it any different way". And as everybody knows, I am not able to play so many weeks in a row like I did 10 years ago, eight years ago. So I have to do my schedule. Even if the first year have been that match against Muller, I played great tennis there too. He won't enter a grass-court tuneup event, figuring that time off to rest is what he needs more than anything else. The would in play just as much as the baseline throughout the match.
Sunday's exhibition showed that you made the right decision. He had wondered whether he should take a break or something in his attitude had to change.
However with a dominant performance on Sunday, it looks Nadal who is now ranked number 2 in the world will continue to play for quite a few years more, provided he can stay injury free.
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"Mentally, I was down". Winning in Rome gave him the confidence to believe that he was playing well enough to win again.
In an unbelievable statistic, Nadal's 12 French Open titles alone would place him fourth all-time in grand slam men's singles titles won. Nadal didn't seem too focused on that though, he was more keen on enjoying his current success.
He said: "It's very tough".
"You can't be frustrated all the time because your neighbour has a bigger house than you or a bigger TV or better garden".
"I don't know what the future will bring, but I'm sure it will be bright".
"So I just try to be positive, to be intense, and to be passionate about what I am doing". "Being honest, I am not very anxious about this stuff, no?" And if I can still win a few Grand Slams and Roger come closer, that would be incredible.
Nadal's French Open record overall is 93-3.
But Nadal, with his confidence up and his knees healthy, will be there too.