As a child, Rafael Nadal was fond of sports. Apart from tennis, he also used to follow and play football. His uncle, Toni Nadal, recognized his tennis skills and began training him. Rafa, along with his uncle, worked hard to build a successful tennis career. But why did they stop training together?
Toni announced the end of his career as Rafael Nadal’s coach after the 2017 season. He commented that he was no longer part of Nadal’s decision-making, thus leading to their split. Since then, Carlos Moya has been an integral part of Nadal’s coaching staff.
Rafael Nadal no longer needed it
Toni Nadal says he stopped coaching his nephew Rafael Nadal because he felt he was “no longer needed” or couldn’t contribute enough. Uncle Toni was Rafa’s coach throughout his childhood and a large part of his professional career before handing over the reins to Carlos Moya. However, he remains a highly respected figure in tennis and now trains young players at Rafael Nadal’s academy in Manacor.
«I came to believe that my contribution was no longer neededsaid Toni Nadal. «I have been a very demanding coach all my life. But my goal was always to educate him to demand everything from himself. A coach’s job is to make you expendable. i think i did«.
Toni has been asked many times if he missed coaching Rafael Nadal, but he seems very calm about not being more involved. «Nope [no lo extraño]. I was very lucky to train a great player who is also my nephew. I enjoyed it and I also feel grateful for it. But I like to train the children, like now at the Manacor academy, because I have the feeling that I can give them more than my nephew«.
Rafa never fired him
Rafael Nadal says he never fired his uncle Toni Nadal as coach, implying that he chose to leave for his own reasons. Toni oversaw most of Nadal’s career before switching to former world number one Carlos Moya in 2016. However, Rafael Nadal has explained that it was Toni’s decision to break his relationship as coach, not him.
«I’ve had the same computer since I was 15 years old. Uncle Tony he left because he was tired of traveling«. Nadal won 14 of his 20 Grand Slam titles with Toni, who now works as head coach at the Spaniard’s academy in Mallorca. Despite all his success, Nadal says that he has never blamed any member of his team for a failure, because he alone is responsible. «I have a lot of trust in the members of the coaching staff. When things go wrong, it’s only my fault. you can’t find excuses”.