He has confidence, calmness and a better game plan than the one that has already won him 10 grand slam tennis titles.
And when he goes into Sunday night's Australian Open final, Rafael Nadal will also carry the satisfaction of having scored a miraculous semi-final victory over the player he believes is the best there's been.
Ominously, he also believes he can play even better.
Nadal earned his place in the final with a four-set defeat of Roger Federer that made him happier than he thought possible.
"I did much better than what I thought, what I dreamed for three weeks ago," Nadal said.
"I'm very happy for everything. It's a fantastic victory for me against the greatest (player) in history.
"That give me a lot of confidence ... a lot of calm."
Not a bad effort considering he was in tears and in agony the night before he played his first-round match.
The cause of his anguish still isn't entirely clear, but he'll continue wearing a heavy bandage around his right knee at least until he knows.
"Twenty four hours before I played my first match, I was in my hotel room crying because I believe I didn't have the chance to play in Melbourne," he said.
"Two weeks later, I am here in the final. So it's a dream for me."
Part of the reason he is living that dream is the plan he and his coach, his uncle Tony, devised.
It is a feat in itself that after more than a decade during which Nadal has won 46 tournaments, more than $US45 million ($A42.49 million) and been under immense scrutiny that something new about his game can be discovered.
But against Federer, he proved there was.
"I didn't play as I played hundreds of times against him ... against his backhand," he said.
"For moments, I had few mistakes with the backhand. But I am trying with the backhand to not go behind the baseline, to stay in the baseline, to hit the ball earlier than before.
"That's something that I am working on and something that we believe that I have to keep improving, to don't lose court, to play more inside.
"It's working well. But always you can do a little bit more, no."
This will be Nadal's 15th grand slam final, something he is entitled to be proud of, and which he is.
The Spaniard is someone who can almost snarl as he glares at his opponent a moment before serving.
He is a player who can get away with patting himself on the back - not that he does - largely because he has plenty of good reasons to do so, and still be totally charming.
After his warning to Federer on Thursday night that the former world No.1 one will probably never beat him again in a grand slam, he was typically frank about how well he plays tennis and how well he respects his opponents.
"The last four grand slams I have been in the finals, so it is a great effort, I think," he said.
"But I don't know if it's going to be enough against Novak or against Andy.
"But what can I say? I'm very happy about my tournament.
I will try my best to play a fantastic final and hopefully I will have my chances.
"But if the opponent plays better than me, and he beats me, I am going to go home very happy about my tournament.
"I am going to go home knowing the way that I am working is working very well."