Rafael Nadal’s coach and uncle Toni Nadal has said he will no longer accompany the tennis great on tour, complaining that he is being shut out of decision-making.
The duo had been together ever since Rafael Nadal started playing tennis. In their initial years of training, Toni Nadal had even encouraged Rafa to play left-handed for a natural advantage on the tennis court, as he noticed Nadal played forehand shots with two hands. Together they won 14 Grand Slams, 9 of them at Roland Garros, eventually the player earning the title of ‘King Of Clay’.But, their partnership had also received a lot of flak after a considerable dip in Rafa’s performance after 2014. Even John McEnroe criticized Rafa for not parting ways with his long time coach after not making any improvements. The only change made to his team was the addition of Carlos Moya two months ago.
It was Toni himself who revealed the news in an exclusive interview to Il Tennis Italiano. ´By next year I won’t follow Rafael on the Tour anymore, but I will work only in our academy. I want to take care of the formation of young talents, which is the most important moment in a tennis player’s growth. The relationship with my nephew has always been good, over all these years we never had any to argue about. But until he was 17 I decided everything, then the agent Carlos Costa came, his father got closer and everybody had his own opinion. And the truth is that every year I decide even less, until the point that I won’t decide anything anymore! I travelled with Rafa for many years, now I want to deal with the training of the young people and our academy is the ideal place.´
Toni also added that Francisco Roig and Moya should remain in his team, ‘unless Rafa will add some other.’