© Getty Images

Toni Nadal and Rafael Nadal hit the practice court during this year's Australian Open.

Toni Nadal: “Rafa Is In Good Hands”

The uncle and coach of the former World No. 1 will step down at the end of the season

After a long and successful career together, Toni Nadal will no longer coach Rafael Nadal from 2018. The Spaniard will step down knowing his nephew is in good hands and will complete the remainder of the season alongside his charge.

“When we travelled to Australia I had made the decision already”, Toni Nadal told the Spanish newspaper, El Español. “I have been thinking lately that it’s getting tougher and tougher. I told my wife the decision. Now I have the chance to be a coach in the [Rafa Nadal] Academy, something that makes me very happy. Rafael will be perfectly attended by Carlos Moyà.

“When we left Melbourne I didn’t say it to Rafael but I say goodbye to everybody because I knew it was my last time. I said goodbye to the driver, the person who always has looked after us there, the tournament director.”

Toni said the decision was primarily related to the draining life of constant travel, the desire to spend more time with his family and also the excitement of having a permanent role at the academy in Manacor, where future tennis stars would be trained.

“I have been thinking this thoroughly. It’s the right time to do it,” he said. “I know how old I am, the years and years I have been travelling around the world and the tension and stress that competition produces.

“Now I am really excited to be in the academy. I step down, but [Rafael] is in good hands. Now I am going to make the most of this 2017.

“It has been a very long journey, loads of seasons. If instead of my nephew, I had coached somebody else, I would have stepped down much earlier.”

Toni said he would always be ready to give a hand when needed, even though Carlos Moyà and Francis Roig will now take the reins.

“Let’s imagine a scenario where Moyà is not available in 2018 for a few tournaments. And my nephew asks me to help him,” Toni said. “I’ll do it for sure and I’ll enjoy it. My intention is to work at the academy and if they need me, I’ll be there.”

More stories like this in: