Feeling Sidelined, Uncle Toni to Quit as Rafa’s Coach
Rafael Nadal’s uncle, Toni Nadal, will step down as his coach after this year’s ATP Tour, as he feels he has been sidelined by other figures in the player’s entourage, he told an Italian tennis magazine.
The 55-year-old has been with the 14-times g r a nd sl a m cha mpion si nc e b efor e t he Spaniard broke into the big-time by winning the French Open as a teenager in 2005. Two weeks after watching his nephew lose in five sets to Roger Federer in the Australian Open final, Toni Nadal told Il Tennis Italiano website that after this season he wants to concentrate on training emerging players. “From next year I will no longer follow Rafael on the circuit but will dedicate myself exclusively to our academy,” he said, referring to the Rafa Nadal Academy which opened —Getty Images last October in Mallorca. “The relationship with my nephew has always been excellent, in all these years we have never had periods of crisis,” he said, but added that he has felt increasingly sidelined by Nadal’s manager Carlos Costa and the player’s father. “The truth is that every year I am making fewer decisions, to the point that I won’t be deciding anything anymore!” For mer World nu mber one a nd fel low Mal lorc a n Ca rlo s Moya joi ne d Nada l’s coaching staf f this season, hoping to help revive the player’s career after two injuryplagued years.
Nadal, without a grand slam title since winning the French Open for a ninth time in 2014, withdrew from last year’s tournament and missed Wimbledon because of a wrist injury.
Toni Nadal (L) and Rafael Nadal