Toni Nadal said that he pronounced his coaching work with nephew Rafa as complete, with the uncle-mentor choosing to move on several seasons ago after taking his nephew to the top of the game.
The elder Nadal revealed his decision to Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung; he is now head of coaching at Nadal’s academy near the family compound on the island of Mallorca while also serving at TD of a new ATP event there.
“I had come to believe that my contribution was no longer necessary,” he said,
“I’ve been a very demanding coach all my life.
“But it was always my goal to educate him to demand everything from himself.
The job of a trainer is to make yourself dispensable. I think I did it.”
Toni began coaching Rafael when the budding talent was a youngster, guiding him to record-breaking success on clay and teaching a few life lessons along the way to the now-34-year-old married man, ranked second on the ATP.
The elder Nadal eventually left the post, with former No. 1 Carlos Moya picking up the daily on-court work and travel requirements in 2018.
““I was very lucky to train a great player who is also my nephew – but I don’t miss it,” Toni said.
“I enjoyed that and I feel grateful for it too. But I like to train children, like now at the academy in Manacor, because I have the feeling that I can give them more than my nephew.”
Nadal’s academy has become a proving ground for ATP hopefuls, with Norway’s 27th-ranked Casper Ruud using it as his training base.