Spot on General. He needs some wins against the game's elite players.
That will give him the confidence and level he needs to fight for Roland Garros.
There is still much to improve on the way.
His fitness in best of 5 is still a question.
His returns have to be better and deeper, and the forehand must be more consistent, and his positioning more central to compensate for a drop in speed.
Winning finals in bigger tournaments has to be turned around.
Even his greatest fans admit his decline has been real.
One can't play poker, golf, and go fishing to be at the top level in tennis. Time enough for that when he is 60 years old.
In this game, if you are not working hard to improve, you fall back.
But luckily for him, some of the elite have slipped themselves and begun what looks to be a decline after much success.
Rafa may not need to be the monster he was in the past. However, he can't depend on that to continue. Someone like Novak can resume his former form if properly motivated.
I think it also would be a mistake to ignore or overlook a very fresh Federer if he decides to play, which I believe he will.
He has to be prepared for battle on clay. There is no other way.
He has always had the tools. He has a small window to put them all together for another run at the French Open title.
this is most likely his very last window of opportunity to finally get past pistol pete's record.
he has to go snatch Rome and then set his eyes on the ultimate conquest at RG.
the gods have parted the sea for him. why not capitalize.