At 60, Toni Nadal is back on the circuit. Rafael Nadal’s historic coach will take charge of Canadian hope Félix Auger-Aliassime, currently 22nd in the ATP rankings.
Toni Nadal is back. Rafael Nadal’s uncle and historic former coach, will work with Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime, 22nd in the ATP ranking and a 20-year-old great hope in world tennis.
A new challenge
The Spaniard returned behind the scenes of this new collaboration for Marca this Thursday: “When the offer came from him, I told him to come to the Academy (the Rafa Nadal Academy founded by the player on his island from Mallorca, editor’s note) for 10 days so that he sees if what I can offer him could suit him or not. I was not considering the possibility of training another player. “
“Knowing that, as the director of the Academy, I can collaborate with a player who has great aspirations, it is a challenge which, personally, satisfies me particularly,” he continued.
Aged 60, Rafael Nadal’s uncle retired from the circuit in 2017. He will work from the Monte-Carlo Masters 1000 which begins on Sunday with Auger-Aliassime and his French trainer Frédéric Fontang.
Toni Nadal was the most successful coach in Grand Slam thanks to the sixteen major tournaments, including 10 Roland-Garros, won by his nephew until the end of their collaboration at the end of the 2017 season.
Between Auger-Aliassime and Nadal, difficult to choose
Asked about a possible meeting between his new protégé and Rafael Nadal, the Spaniard said it would be difficult for him to prefer one: “If we have to play against Rafa, I would not sit on either of the two benches, out of respect for both players and because I am still the director of the Academy, I continue to work for him and I am his uncle. “
Rafael Nadal’s uncle then added that his goal remains to guide the Canadian hope to which there is still work to be done: “If Rafael has to lose against someone, I hope it will be against Felix. I will never stop being Rafa’s uncle, we have been linked for many years. I hope that in the future it will be Felix who will be the world No.1. For the moment, he has to improve. “