Rafael Nadal has worked with his uncle Toni for his entire professional career
Toni Nadal has coached his nephew Rafael since he was a teenager but is now ready to relinquish his job after nearly two decades of involvement.
And Nadal Sr has revealed that his increasingly minimal role in decision-making convinced him to make the switch.
“Until he was 17 I decided everything, then the agent Carlos Costa came, his father got closer and everybody had his own opinion,” Toni told Italian publication Il Tennis Italiano.
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“And the truth is that every year I decide even less, until the point that I won´t decide anything anymore!
“I travelled with Rafa for many years, now I want to deal with the training of the young people and our academy is the ideal place.”
Nadal Jr opened an academy in his native Mallorca last year in a ceremony which featured long-term rival Roger Federer.
The pair would meet again three months later in the final of the Australian Open, Nadal’s first appearance in a major final since 2014, although the Swiss emerged victorious.
Many have attributed Nadal’s resurgence at the age of 30 to the addition of Carlos Moya to his coaching team but the 1998 French Open champion’s arrival also appears to have pushed uncle Toni to one side.
The 55-year-old will instead spend more time next year at home in Mallorca.
“By next year I won’t follow Rafael on the tour anymore, but I will work only in our academy,” Nadal added.
“I want to take care of the formation of young talents, which is the most important moment in a tennis player´s growth.
“The relationship with my nephew has always been good, over all these years we never had any to argue about.”