MADRID — Rafael Nadal’s uncle Toni Nadal told an Italian tennis magazine that he would step down as Nadal’s coach after this season because he felt he had been sidelined by other figures in the player’s entourage.
Toni Nadal, 55, has been his nephew’s coach since before the player broke into the big time by winning the French Open as a teenager in 2005. Nadal, a Spaniard, has won 14 Grand Slam singles titles over all and lost the Australian Open final in five sets to Roger Federer two weeks ago.
Toni Nadal told the website Il Tennis Italiano that he would concentrate on training emerging players after this season.
“From next year I will no longer follow Rafael on the circuit but will dedicate myself exclusively to our academy,” he said, referring to the Rafa Nadal Academy, which opened in October in Majorca.
“The relationship with my nephew has always been excellent; in all these years we have never had periods of crisis,” he said, but he added that he had felt increasingly sidelined by Nadal’s manager, Carlos Costa, and Nadal’s father, Sebastián.
“The truth is that every year I am making fewer decisions, to the point that I won’t be deciding anything anymore,” Toni Nadal said.
Carlos Moya, a former No. 1 player, joined Nadal’s coaching staff this season, hoping to help revive the player’s career after two injury-plagued years.
Rafael Nadal has not commented on the Italian report. He has not won a Grand Slam title since winning the French Open for a ninth time in 2014. He withdrew from last year’s French Open and missed Wimbledon because of a wrist injury, and he ended his season early to focus on his recovery.
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