Sport Tennis Toni Nadal to take a step back next season

Toni Nadal to take a step back next season

Toni and Rafael Nadal
Toni has been with Rafael Nadal for decades. Photo: Getty
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Rafael Nadal’s uncle and longtime coach Toni Nadal will make this his last season alongside his nephew on the ATP Tour.

The elder Nadal has been with his talented nephew for decades but has decided to scale back his all-tennis lifestyle at the age of 55 to train up a new generation of players at the family’s new tennis centre on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

“Starting next year I will not follow Rafael in the circuit anymore, I will dedicate myself exclusively to our academy,” Toni Nadal told the Il tennis italiano website.

“The relationship with my nephew is always optimal, in all these years we have never had periods of crisis.”

Toni Nadal has slowly been putting the pieces in place for his pullback, first with the hiring years ago of former player and family confidante Carlos Costa as Rafael Nadal’s personal manager.

At the end of last season, former mentor Carlos Moya was added to the travelling coaching team, lifting much of the responsibility from the elder Nadal.

“The truth is that every year I decide less and less, to the point where I will not decide anything anymore,” Toni Nadal added.

“I have travelled with Rafa for a lot of years, and now I want to go back to training young people and our academy is the ideal place.”