“Mentality of Progressing”: Toni Nadal Reveals Why He Was the Best Coach With Rafael Nadal

Published 09/03/2021, 5:30 PM EDT
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)


Over the years, the Nadal’s form has taken contrasting hits; yet, one thing has remained solid for him – his team. Rafael Nadal has had a phenomenal bunch of guys working day and night to keep the southpaw in the best state possible. Leading his team for a while was his uncle Toni Nadal. For a long period of time, Toni had kept Nadal active and in contention for the biggest titles.

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MADRID, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 23: Rafael Nadal of Spain, playing partner of Feliciano Lopez celebrates following their victory in the semi-final doubles match against Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski of Great Britain during Day 6 of the 2019 Davis Cup at La Caja Magica on November 23, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for LTA)

The 60-year-old coached Rafa since the 1990s, gathering huge successes along the way. In this period, Nadal captured almost 20 Grand Slams, reaching the feat shortly after his uncle was no more his coach. Yet, Toni is an experienced campaigner, and a great tactician. Recently, he was back to the coaching role, joining the team of the young Felix Auger-Aliassime. Speaking about his new stint, the coach laid out how his players’ natural ability has made him look good as a coach.

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Toni feels he was good because of Rafael Nadal

In spite of assuming a new role now, the Spanish coach will always have a soft spot in his heart for his nephew. After all, they traveled all over the world together, tasting success so many times along the way. In a recent interview, Toni was asked about his new job, and how big a bonus it is for the young Canadian. However, he was quick to admit that a lot of his fame has come due to the fact that he was with someone as good as Nadal.

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“I was a good coach because I was with Rafael Nadal,” claimed Toni. “Each coach depends on his player. Rafael had this mentality of progressing all the time.” The veteran adviser hoped that this same added advantage will also be seen in Felix. He continued “That’s what I try to instill in Felix [Auger-Aliassime]. I can go with him, but not do it for him.”

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MADRID, SPAIN – MAY 08: Felix Auger-Alliassime of Canada congratulates opponant Rafael Nadal of Spain during day five of the Mutua Madrid Open at La Caja Magica on May 08, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

The great Toni Nadal will be vying for a glorious stint with one of the top rising stars in the world of tennis. Having said it himself, it will be important for Felix to possess the inner drive to push himself. Do you think the Canadian has the mentality to make it big? We can only hope so.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

245 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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