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PARIS — His words catching in his throat, Toni Nadal called it ‘‘really a miracle’’ that his nephew is back in the French Open final.
Seriously? Miraculous? More like expected, given that Rafael Nadal is 58-1 for his career at Roland Garros, a seven-time champion who will become the only man with eight titles at one Grand Slam tournament if he beats David Ferrer in Sunday’s all-Spanish final.
Here is what Uncle Toni, who has coached Rafa since age 4, meant: They harbored doubts about whether a return to the top was possible after Nadal was sidelined for about seven months with a left knee injury.
There were times, the younger Nadal said, when ‘‘it was impossible to think that I would be here.’’