There is a question as to how Rafa Nadal could possibly be affected when he and his uncle, Toni, who has also been his coach forever finally part company at the end of the year. I’ve got to say that has to probably be the longest resignation notice anyone has ever handed in.
The announcement that Toni made to an Italian publication took the player’s camp by surprise and even Rafa’s PR man admitted that; but the fact that he provided the information to a non-Spanish publication was possibly almost as surprising.
Toni Nadal explained that in more recent times he felt that he was being faded to the background. He was not being relied upon as much and his opinions were not really being sought. He suggested it started when Carlos Costa came in as Rafa’s agent, then there was the PR guy and that in more occasions Rafa’s father, Toni’s brother, had also been exerting his influence.
Toni says his plan is to concentrate on the tennis academy they opened in Mallorca but it is obvious he feels somewhat put out with the circumstances he highlighted.
What is not quite understood is if he is so frustrated with the lack of approach to him for his input as it once was, then why wait for the rest of the year to walk away? Why wouldn’t you cut your losses and stop immediately and pick up what you want to do, in this case have more input with the academy?
Over the last few years there have been several occasions where Toni has not travelled with Rafa to tournaments but instead a fill in has taken over and from late 2016 Carlos Moya, who has been a close friend since Rafa was very young has assumed what looks like the key coaching role.
Rafa is not expected to be unduly affected when Toni leaves. Some on social media have suggested that the guy is 30 years old and Toni should have made him stand on his own feet five years ago. Anyone suggesting that has no clue what a coach does or about the relationship between Rafa and Toni. The younger Nadal was not wanting a change for the sake of a change.
With Moya on hand and the close relationship they have we will likely see a supposed handover being totally uneventful, and it is not as if Toni is walking off into the sunset on a Mallorca beach. Rafa knows he will always be there to offer advice when called upon … even if he is not at the team’s forefront.