Rafael Nadal has opened up for the first time about his impending split from Uncle Toni.
Toni Nadal announced earlier this month that he had decided to end his coaching relationship with Rafa at the end of 2017, during an interview with an Italian tennis website. However, it later transpired that he had forgotten to tell Rafa about the decision, which he said he made ahead of January’s Australian Open.
Speaking ahead of this week’s Mexican Open, Nadal acknowledged his Uncle had to make his own choices and that he would be happy if the decision “makes him [Toni] happy”.
“Toni is completely free like he has always been, to take his own decisions and to choose what makes him happiest,” Nadal told the media in Acapulco. “I am comfortable with what he decides is best for him.
“I feel better when people who I love are happy and if it makes him happy, for me it’s OK. Before being my coach, Toni is my uncle. He has been with me for a lifetime and the relationship with him has been a little bit more special than the one I have with my other uncles because I have lived everyday with him and I am very grateful to him for all the things he did for me.”
Nadal added former Spanish No.1 Carlos Moya to his coaching team at the start of 2017, and confirmed that he would discuss the best way to move forward with Moya and assistant coach Francis Roig towards the end of 2017.
“At the end of the year we will sit down and I will speak to Francis and Carlos,” Nadal said. “Primarily I suppose my team could stay the same if there are no issues. I don’t know if I will need someone who can help me for some weeks but if I do, it will be a consistent relationship.”
Nadal will begin his campaign in Acapulco against in-form German Mischa Zverev.
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