5/13/11 4:20 PM | Johan Lindahl
Rafael Nadal's concerned uncle and longtime coach may have been proved wrong as his nephew shows the strength of a raging Spanish bull as he overcomes illness to maintain his progress at the Rome Masters.
World No. 1 Nadal, who himself debated not taking to the court for his third-round match with Feliciano Lopez due to a high fever, won that contest and kept up the good work by going through his quarter-final over Marin Cilic in straight sets.
But Toni, who has coached Rafael since childhood was not so sure it was the right move to compete while not at 100 percent. "I didn’t want him to play," he told France's l'Equipe.
"I told him that he had to remember what happened in Doha at the beginning of the year (another bout of a fever he is currently suffering with). He played his semi-final against Nikolay Davydenko with a fever, he lost it easily and ended up getting injured at the Australian Open.
"If you push a fragile body, the risk of breaking it is greater. And since Roland Garros is so close...”
Nadal has gone almost nonstop as he moves towards the highlight of his another season on clay with the Grand Slam starting in just over a week. He owns repeat 2011 titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona but lost the final at home in Madrid last weekend to Novak Djokovic, pressing hard from the No. 2 ranking spot.
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