Earlier this year Rafael Nadal’s long time coach, his uncle, Toni Nadal announced that he would be splitting with his nephew due to several personal reasons. Rafa has been under his uncle’s guidance since the beginning of his career and has won 14 grand slams in his wake. But now his uncle has decided to call it quits, stating that he wanted to focus more on his family and dedicate his undivided attention to the Rafael Nadal Coaching Academy. He himself has three kids, two of them who play tennis. As a result Carlos Moya, Rafa’s long time friend and adviser has joined his team as a coach.
His uncle will be touring with him for the last time this year and has made it clear that there are no fights or differences between him and his nephew but just personal reasons. Earlier this year Moya, who has been a long time mentor of Rafa was added to his coaching staff. Moya who himself is a retired professional who won the French Open in 1998, has long since been attached with Rafa. Rafa says that he will sit down and discuss with his team, at the end of the year, as to what is to be done, and until then he will be focussing on his tournament calendar.
Carlos Moya was called upon by uncle Toni, after the news broke out that he would be discontinuing with Milos Raonic. Carlos immediately agreed to join Rafa’s team, and has toured with him throughout the first quarter of the year. We as spectators can’t help but wonder at this stage, whether the addition of Moya can provide a new dimension to Rafa’s game. With the age factor kicking in, maybe, Carlos who has been through this stage in his career before, can add a few tweaks in Rafa’s game. Probably this is exactly what Rafa needs – a different perspective. After a layoff due to injury he has returned and performed well this year, reaching Australian open finals(losing to Roger Federer) and the Acapulco finals(losing to Sam Querrey).
Although how many more years Rafa has left in him, cannot be said, the performances that Rafa and Roger have put up this year makes us wonder whether Rafa, who is younger than Roger, has a few more years of tennis left in him, and maybe Carlos Moya coming in might just be the thing that will get him through the latter parts of his career. Having said that, the departure of his uncle, with whom he has painted an illustrious career, will be a significant blow in his career. It will be a tough job to tour without him for the remainder of his career.