Rafael Nadal’s uncle and coach Toni Nadal is set to end their coaching relationship on tour at the conclusion of this season, according to reports.
Toni Nadal has overseen Rafael’s development and transformation into one of the sport’s legends, with the Spaniard amassing 14 grand slam titles and 67 overall on the ATP World Tour - the sixth most in the Open Era.
However according to quotes in Italian publication Tennis Italiano
, Toni will stop travelling with Nadal on the ATP World Tour to begin working more closely with youth development at their academy in Mallorca.
"Relations with my nephew are still excellent. During all these years, we have never been through a crisis. Until he was 17 years old, it was me who decided everything. Then Carlos Costa arrived as manager. Then his father became closer, each having his opinions.
"And the truth is that every year I had less decision-making, until the day when I will decide on nothing."
Rafael Nadal and uncle Toni Nadal (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal has yet to respond to the comments, but his spokesman Benito Perez told AFP that the decision came as a shock to the camp.
“These words took us somewhat by surprise,” Perez said.
“If he said that, then he means just that. I will speak to Rafa about it in the coming days. I don’t think we will be immediately communicating on this subject.”
The news comes as Carlos Moya was recruited as Nadal’s primary coach for 2017.
After an injury-disrupted last couple of seasons, Nadal has experienced an encouraging start to the 2017 season, winning the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition to begin the year before reaching his first grand slam final in three years at the Australian Open.