“Brings Me a Lot of Conviction”: Felix Auger-Aliassime Reveals Benefits of Working with Rafael Nadal’s Uncle Toni

Published 03/01/2021, 7:30 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 17, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


Rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime has opened up on the experience of spending some time at Rafael Nadal’s tennis academy last year and up-skilling his game under the watchful eyes of the Spaniard uncle and former coach Toni.

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The current World Number 19, who made the fourth round of the Australian Open this year, travelled to the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in the Spaniard’s hometown Mallorca and spent some weeks drawing on the wealth of experience of the veteran coach.

Felix Auger-Aliassime recalls “good advice” he received from Rafael Nadal’s uncle Toni

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Considered as one of the best coaches in the game, Toni’s years of on-court partnership with his nephew translated into titles galore and helped the latter entrench his place as one of the greats of the game.

Speaking on the tutelage he received from Toni, Felix said the latter had some “good advice” and he did enjoy spending some hours with him, working on his game.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime in action during his fourth round match against Russia’s Aslan Karatsev REUTERS/Kelly Defina

Sharing more details on his training stint with him at the academy last winter, the Canadian said, “He (Toni) would give me instant feedback on my shots and on my movement and how I could play.”

Felix Auger-Aliassime reveals that he continues to be in touch with Rafael Nadal’s uncle

He said they often had discussions about “other players” and, while at it, the conversation inevitably veered towards “his nephew”.

The Canadian added that the veteran shared interesting anecdotes from his experience of working with Nadal professionally and molding him into a superstar.

Felix added that he has taken the lessons to heart and will use them in his quest to be a better player going forward.

He said that there are plenty of things that he can still pick up from the veteran and they are “still in contact”.

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“I think his advice just brings me a lot of conviction and confidence in myself,” the 20-year-old said.

The Canadian is currently in Rotterdam, hoping to repeat his success story from last year.

He beat the likes of 2017 ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov and World Number 10 Pablo Carreno Busta last year before falling at the final hurdle to veteran Frenchman Gael Monfils.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Helped Me Develop as a Tennis Player” – Felix Auger-Aliassime Terminates Alliance with Long-Term Coach

12 months ago

Felix will open his campaign against Japanese star Kei Nishikori on Monday.

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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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