The uncle of Spanish tennis great Rafael Nadal, Toni Nadal, has stated that he is going to stop coaching the 30-year-old superstar at the end of the year.
He plans to return to Mallorca, where he will work with the academy of Manacor, teaching the up-and-coming tennis prodigies.”This is my last season with Rafa,” the 55-year-old said.
“I will not continue to coach him and I will dedicate myself exclusively to the academy in Manacor.”I want to take care of talented kids, it is their most delicate moment.”Toni Nadal confirmed this when in Budapest, Hungary, during the World Associate of Professional Tennis Trainers forum.
The Spanish coach said that his relationship with his nephew remains steady and that in all the years spent together, they never experienced a moment of crisis, but admitted that his decision making power was reduced more and more.
“The last 17 years, I decided everything for Rafa, then came Carlos Costa as manager and his father, each with their own opinions,” Toni Nadal continued.
“The truth is that every year I decide less and less, we will get to the point where I do not decide anything.”I have traveled for many years with Rafa, but now I want to return to training young people, and our academy is the perfect place.”
He also stated that it would not be a surprise if Rafael Nadal were to win a Grand Slam this season, after coming close in the Australian Open where he lost the final against Switzerland’s Roger Federer.
“I would not be surprised,” Toni Nadal added.
“If Rafael Nadal had not gotten injured in Madrid last year, I would have liked our chances at Roland Garros, but I would not have been surprised if he did not win, because having options does not necessarily mean achieving them.”
The coach also said that Rafael Nadal still needs to get better on this campaign, but beating the likes of Canada’s Milos Raonic, France’s Gael Monfils, and German Alexander Zverv is a good sign.
“In tennis, confidence does not last long, and when you play well, you’re full of confidence, but when you lose two games, you lose it right away.”Rafa beat Raonic, Monfils and Zverev in a month, which means he’s done well again, now he just has to continue this path.”
Toni Nadal knows that 2015 was the toughest season for his nephew.”He was mentally ill because he had too many physical problems and he had lost confidence in his body,” he said.
“When he recovered his strength he also changed his attitude and he was mentally strong again, now he is well physically, too.”