As a kid, Rafael Nadal was fond of sports. Apart from tennis, he also used to follow and play soccer. His uncle, Toni Nadal, recognized his abilities in tennis and started coaching him. Rafa, along with his uncle, worked hard, day in and day out, to carve out a successful career in tennis.The 22-time Grand Slam champion turned pro in 2001.
Further, he went on to make his Grand Slam debut at the 2003 Wimbledon Championships, where he reached the third round. At every moment, his uncle was there, guiding him. In his autobiography, Nadal talked about the contribution of his uncle and father to his success.Rafael Nadal shares an interesting fact about his uncle
In his autobiography, Rafa: My Story, the former World Number 1, has revealed that his uncle never received any paychecks from him for his coaching services. Talking about this, he said, “One thing would not have happened without the other. Toni has never received any money from me or from anyone in the family for the lifelong attention he’s dedicated to me, but he’s been able to do it because he owns half of my father’s business, and takes half the profits, without doing any of the work.”
Further, he went on to add, “It’s been a fair exchange because I would never have had anything like the same hours of coaching from Toni if my father had not worked with such purpose all his life.”Why did Nadal’s uncle part ways with his nephew?
Toni announced an end to his long-term coaching stint with Rafael Nadal after the 2017 season. He cited that he was no longer a part of Nadal’s decision-making which led to their separation. Since then, Carlos Moya has been an integral part of Nadal’s coaching team.
Earlier this year, Toni announced a comeback on the Tour, joining Felix Auger-Aliassime’s coaching staff.
With Nadal experiencing unprecedented success under the aegis of his uncle, Toni Nadal, do you think another player-coach duo can emulate their success on the tour in the future? Do let us know in the comments.