Uncle Toni Nadal Reveals Three Things He Told Rafael Nadal to Become Invincible

Published 06/10/2021, 2:09 AM 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)


Spanish World No. 3 Rafael Nadal is one of the mightiest opponents in tennis history. Moreover, his arduous gameplay has made even the best players struggle for each point over the last two decades. Also, his domination at Roland-Garros is unparalleled.

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Many wonder what made the young Mallorcan kid into the El Matador he is today. The most obvious answer is his ex-coach and uncle Toni Nadal, who trained Rafa from his childhood.

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 03: Rafael Nadal of Spain discusses tatics with his coach Toni Nadal during a practice session prior to the start of ATP World Tour Finals Tennis at O2 Arena on November 3, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

In a recent interview with Tennis Channel, Toni Nadal revealed the set of instructions he had given the Spaniard. But he wouldn’t have known then that his four steps rule would change the face of the tennis world.

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Uncle Toni reveals the four-step rule he taught Rafael Nadal

From 1990 to 2017, Toni coached Rafa. and he is one of the significant reasons Nadal is called the ‘King of Clay’ today. The duo won 75 career titles in singles and 11 in doubles. However, the instructions Toni gave his nephew to achieve such dominance seemed pretty basic.

“I said to Rafael only three things. Rafael, hit the ball as hard as possible. If it’s possible, put the ball where it’s not to your opponent. And if it’s possible, put the ball in. Out normally, don’t go very well,” Toni smiled.

Immediately, the Spanish coach realized that he had missed out on an essential rule. Tennis is, after all, a sport and one should also enjoy it while playing.

“And I said another thing. And it was the most important thing. Rafael, hit the ball every time as good as possible. And not only to win, it’s to be happy. And to the personal satisfaction,” Toni added.

While Toni’s teachings are detectable in every shot that Rafa hits, it has also made the Spaniard the biggest challenge to beat on terre battue.

Nadal is chasing his 21st Grand Slam title at French Open 2021

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The record 13-time Roland-Garros champion has reached the semifinals for the 14th time. Rafa will meet Serbian World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the next round, the player that Toni has quoted as his nephew’s biggest threat.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal with the trophy after winning his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic who poses with the runners up trophy REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

It will be the duo’s record 58th matchup and unquestionably one of the biggest matches of the year. It will be interesting to see if the Serb can take down the Rafa wall on clay.

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Who are you supporting to win the French Open 2021 title?

Watch this story: Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic Rivalry at French Open

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Purav Joshi

1139 articles

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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