'Rafael Nadal had to move on,' Toni Nadal recalls

“Rafael Nadal had to keep going,” Toni Nadal recalled

Toni Nadal introduced his nephew Rafa to tennis when he was three or four years old. With Toni by his side, Rafa learned to always do his best in the circumstances and show his best tennis. After each success or notable result, Toni showed the list of previous champions of that event.

He would explain to Rafa that many are no longer in the game because they didn’t work hard enough or were lucky enough to train without thinking about finances. Giving 120% every time he stepped on the court, he turned pro at age 15 and climbed to the brink of the top-200 by the end of 2003.

In 2004, the young Spaniard fell the world number 1. 1 Roger Federer in straight sets in Miami and claimed his first ATP title in Sopot in August. Nadal prepared his assault on the ATP throne, lifting the first Major trophy and four Masters 1000 crowns in 2005 to become world No. 1.

2 and Federer’s closest rival. The rest is pretty much history as Rafa is among the best players of all time after adding 22 Majors and 36 Masters 1000 trophies to his collection. Over the years, the clay warrior has seen incredible battles with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and many other rivals from the top.

He suffered heavy losses and celebrated brilliant victories, not forgetting his uncle’s first lessons. Nadal has not thrown a racquet despite spending over three decades on the tennis court and learning to channel his frustration and turn it into his strength.

Toni Nadal stayed with his nephew until the end of 2017 and won the last major together in Paris in June. Toni became one of the most successful coaches of all time and returned to Mallorca to work with children and future tennis stars.

Toni Nadal stayed with his nephew Rafa until 2017.

In early 2017, Carlos Moya joined Nadal’s coaching staff, replacing Toni and guiding Rafa to greater success over the past six years. Speaking about his nephew, Toni said he decided to quit after feeling there was nothing more he could do to improve Rafa’s game and make him even more dangerous on the pitch.

“I had come to believe that my contribution was no longer necessary. I have been a very demanding coach all my life; it has always been my goal to raise Rafa to demand everything from himself. The job of a coach is it’s making yourself expendable.” I think I made it.

I was fortunate to coach a great player who is also my nephew. I enjoyed it and I’m grateful for that. But I like teaching children, like now in Manacor, because I feel like I can give them more than my nephew,” said Toni Nadal.

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