Coach Frederic Fontang Reveals the Reason Behind Adding Toni Nadal to Felix Auger-Aliassime’s Team

Published 04/10/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Mar 28, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada serves against John Isner of the United States (not pictured) in the third round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Felix Auger-Aliassime’s coach Frederic Fontang has opened up on Toni Nadal joining the Canadian star’s team. Fontang will remain Felix’s head coach while Rafael Nadal’s uncle and long-time coach will play the role of a consultant.

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Speaking to a French-Canadian portal, Fontang said he is always open to “teamwork” and hopes to gain personally from working with the 60-year-old Toni, who coached his nephew to 16 Grand Slam titles, 10 of which came at the French Open.

“…having Toni by our side, to be able to discuss with him and gain experience, is very positive for me, for the whole team and for Félix in particular,” the Frenchman said.

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The coaching unit has bet big on the experienced Spaniard, as it expects him to not only mentor Felix to new heights in men’s tennis but also “stimulate” his head coach to do his best.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime in action during his fourth round match against Russia’s Aslan Karatsev REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

“We wanted an outside eye, an experienced person. And Toni Nadal has the build for the costume we’re looking for,” the Frenchman said.

Felix Auger-Aliassime’s coach says having Toni Nadal as a consultant will help the Canadian raise his game

Fontang will leave the technical and tactical side of things to the Spaniard and focus on the other aspects. It is understood that Toni has already laid out a roadmap to take the 20-year-old forward.

The Frenchman believes that having someone as tactically astute as Toni in the mix will help the Canadian raise his game by a fair few notches and turn those impressive semi-final and final appearances at Tour events into championship wins.

“Having someone like Toni Nadal by your side brings a natural confidence which is very important. We want Felix to show even more consistency and be able to tip the matches in his favor,” Fontang said.

He cited the Canadian’s recent clash against World No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas in Acapulco, which was in the balance and could have gone either way, to rest his case.

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Adding that there are no shortcuts for success, the Frenchman said that Felix can have the best coaching minds at his service but the onus, at the end of the day, is on him to work the percentages in his favor and turn losses into wins.

“We have always wanted to work well on a daily basis and this is a value that Toni Nadal shares,” Fontang said.

(Quotes have been translated via Google)

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DIVE DEEPER

BREAKING: Rafael Nadal’s Uncle Toni Turns Felix Auger Aliassime’s Coach Ahead of Monte Carlo Masters 2021

6 months ago

Felix’s second-round defeat to John Isner in Miami also came to percentages that did not fall in his favor.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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