Spain’s Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest sports personalities. He has carried the flag of Spain with great pride and success. When there are such legends like Rafa around, people often forget the contribution of certain influences that help groom the player. In the Spaniard’s life, it has been his uncle, Toni Nadal.
Toni Nadal spoke recently about Rafa’s loss against Daniil Medvedev in the semifinal of the season-ending ATP Finals. He said, “Rafa’s loss at the Nitto ATP Finals is painful, given the magnitude and importance of the tournament and, above all, because a great opportunity slipped away: a cup that he has never been able to lift, having deployed all week tennis of the highest level.”
If the Spaniard won in London it would’ve been the icing on the cake. His uncle further said, “Rafael could not finish a magnificent season with the finishing touch that would mean crowning himself the teacher of teachers.”
Having said that, Nadal had a great season by winning the French Open for a record 13th time. Toni did acknowledge that as a matter of fact and added, “However, when taking stock of this strange year, the assessment has to be clearly positive. Raising the Musketeers’ Cup for the thirteenth time amply justifies this appreciation.”
Toni Nadal: An Asset To Tennis
It was under his direction that Rafa learned tennis. The 20-time grand slam winner has described his uncle as a ‘hard’ coach. Nadal would often come home crying after his sessions with him. Eventually, he did realize that Toni’s efforts were only going to improve him and make him the player that he is. Rafa also stated that his uncle had warned him if he ever threw the racket it would be his last day of training under him.
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Early in 2017, Toni Nadal left Rafael’s team. He felt it was the right time since his nephew had established himself. Toni now spends time at the Rafa Nadal Academy, helping to improve young players.