Toni Nadal introduced his nephew Rafa to tennis at three or four, teaching him always to give his best in the given circumstances. Following every success or a notable result, Toni would show the list of previous champions from that event, explaining to Rafa that many are not in the game anymore, as they did not work hard enough or had his fortune to train without thinking about finances. Giving 120% every time he would step on the court, Rafa embraced a pro career at 15 and moved to the verge of the top-200 by the end of 2003. In 2004, the young Spaniard toppled world no. 1 Roger Federer in Miami in straight sets and claimed the first ATP title in Sopot in August. Preparing his assault on the ATP throne, Nadal claimed the first Major trophy and four Masters 1000 crowns in 2005, becoming world no. 2 and Federer’s closest rival.
The rest is pretty much history, as Rafa stands among the best players of all time after adding 20 Majors and 36 Masters 1000 trophies to his collection. Over the years, the clay warrior has experienced incredible battles with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and many other rivals from the top, suffering severe losses and enjoying brilliant victories while never forgetting his uncle’s first lessons. Nadal has not thrown a racquet despite spending three decades on the tennis court, learning how to channel his frustration and turn it into his strength. Toni Nadal stayed with his nephew until the end of 2017, winning the last Major together in Paris that June. Toni became one of the most accomplished coaches of all time and went back home to Mallorca to work with kids and future tennis stars.
Toni Nadal stayed with his nephew Rafa until 2017.
At the beginning of 2017, Carlos Moya joined Nadal’s coaching staff, replacing Toni and leading Rafa towards more success in the previous five years. Speaking about his nephew, Toni said he decided to quit after sensing he could not do anything more to improve Rafa’s game and make him even more dangerous on the court.
“I had come to believe that my contribution was no longer necessary. I have been a very demanding coach all my life; it was always my goal to educate Rafa to demand everything from himself. The job of a trainer is to make yourself dispensable; I think I did it. I was fortunate to train a great player who is also my nephew. I enjoyed that, and I feel grateful for it too. But I like to teach children, like now in Manacor, because I have the feeling that I can give them more than my nephew,” Toni Nadal said.