“He Doesn’t Have to Ask Me Anything”: Rafael Nadal on Uncle Toni Joining Felix Auger-Aliassime’s Team

Published 04/11/2021, 10:41 PM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 31: Rafael Nadal of Spain announces his withdrawal from the Rolex Paris Masters due to an abdominal injury on October 31, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)


Uncle and ex-coach of Rafael Nadal, Toni, surprised everyone by teaming up with Canada’s rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime ahead of the Monte-Carlo Masters tournament. Now, Rafa has talked for the very first time about the prospects of this newly formulated team.

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Unsurprisingly, the 34-year-old is happy for both of them. In the press conference ahead of the tournament, the World No. 3 expressed his gratitude towards Toni and called the merger a positive thing.

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Rafael Nadal on Toni Nadal’s decision to join Felix

Toni Nadal coached Rafael Nadal for more than 27 years, and together they won almost every accolade in tennis. Thus, the nephew understands how Toni’s wealth of knowledge would be helpful to the Canadian.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – APRIL 13: Rafael Nadal of Spain in a practice session as uncle and coach Toni Nadal watches on during day two of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters tennis at the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 13, 2015, in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“Toni has a lot of experience. He knows a lot about this sport. He has all the knowledge that somebody needs. I am sure that going to be an important help for Felix,” the Spaniard said.

Moreover, Rafa clarified that he has no problem with the merger; instead, he respects Toni’s decision. He is happy that his uncle is back on the ATP tour, even if it’s only for a couple of weeks.

“First of all, he doesn’t have to ask me anything, no,” Rafa insisted. “He’s my uncle. I am very grateful for all the things that he did for me. I am happy that he’s on the tour a couple of weeks, no?”

Additionally, the 20-time Grand Slam champion expressed why he is happy for Felix Auger-Aliassime as well as for himself.

He said, “At the same time, I am happy for Felix. I mean, is going to be a good support, have a great coach like Toni next to him. Happy for me, too. I am happy to see my uncle here, see him here, spend time with him here on the tour again. That’s a positive thing.”

Because Rafa is among the Top 8 seeds, he received a bye in the first round. Meanwhile, Felix will face Chilean Christian Garin in the opening round.

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What are the chances of Nadal winning the Monte-Carlo Masters 2021?

Nadal is bidding for his record-extending 12th Monte-Carlo Masters title this year. Other than that, he is looking forward to a spectacular clay-court swing.

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2018 French Open Tennis Tournament – Rafael Nadal of Spain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia while playing a tie break doubles exhibition match against Simone Halep of Romania and Alexander Zverev of Germany on Court Philippe Chatrier during a packed Children’s Day at Roland Garros before the start of the 2018 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on May 26th 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Nadal’s potential matchups as per seed are R1: Bye, R2: Adrian Mannarino / Qualifier, R3: Grigor Dimitrov, QFs: Andrey Rublev / Roberto Bautista Agut, SFs: Daniil Medvedev, Final: Novak Djokovic.

Who do you think will win the Monte-Carlo Masters this year?

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Purav Joshi

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Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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