Главная » 2017 » November » 9 » Toni Nadal: "I am lucky to have enjoyed a life in tennis with one of the greats."
Toni Nadal: "I am lucky to have enjoyed a life in tennis with one of the greats."
When the ATP Masters tournament begins on Sunday, Toni Nadal will be acutely aware that it will be his last trip with his nephew, Rafael, as the tennis icon's uncle and mentor is retiring with a feeling of fortune at having enjoyed a life in the sport alongside one of the true greats.
Rather poetically, the Masters is the only major title to have eluded Rafa Nadal in his illustrious career at the top of the sport.
"I have been lucky to have had a life in tennis with one of the great performers," he explained in an exclusive interview with MARCA.
"I'll miss it for sure, but I will also have a great time back in Mallorca.
"I will also miss training Rafa because we have been doing this for many years, I like training a lot."
One of the hallmarks of the past decade in tennis has been the competitive rivalry between Nadal and Roger Federer, the pair have been battling for most tournaments and played out one of the all-time great Wimbledon finals in 2008.
Astonishingly, almost a decade on from that final the pair are still battling against each other with the Swiss star one of the favourites to reach the final of the upcoming Masters, something that the elder Nadal is acutely aware of.
"It is clear [Federer] is the favourite," he admitted. "His level has been very high all year.
If Rafa can find his best, then we will see. The surface will also have an impact."
Despite it being his last tournament as a mentor and coach to his nephew, the 56-year-old does not place any additional importance on proceedings in London.
"No, I don't think it is [special], when I go to a tournament I don't think about what comes next," he confirmed.
"My feeling in a tournament is that it is just one more tournament for me.
"Whenever I buy a ticket, I will go and see him play, the end of the season will be special as I begin another life."
Given the Spanish tennis icon's resurgence in form after finally being able to shake his repeated injuries, it has come as no surprise that his uncle has been nominated for the Coach of the Year award.
This represents a major recognition of his technical acumen and the veteran has appreciated the nomination.
"I think it is symbolic because I've always been clear that it is the player who wins," he intimated.
"It's true that coaching can help, but it isn't the same as a football coach who can change players.
"All the coaches who have won these awards wouldn't have if the player hadn't been skilful."