Tennis: Toni and Rafa Nadal to split in 2018

Toni Nadal (bottom right) watches Rafael Nadal in action at the Australian Open on Jan 27, 2017.
Toni Nadal (bottom right) watches Rafael Nadal in action at the Australian Open on Jan 27, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (AFP) - Rafael Nadal’s career-long coaching relationship with his uncle Toni Nadal will end this year, Toni Nadal confirmed to AFP on Tuesday (Feb 14).

“The decision has been mine,” said Toni Nadal, whilst insisting he will remain in his role for the rest of the 2017 season.

Toni Nadal, 55, cited the demands of travelling on tour as the reason for the change and will oversee coaching at Rafael’s tennis academy on his home island of Mallorca.


“I understand that my role will be in the academy,” he added.

“At my age, I have travelled around the world and for a while when I have to travel it is hard.

“I have three children. The academy has given me a reason to enjoy being here (in Mallorca.)” 

Former world number one Carlos Moya will take over as Nadal’s main coach for 2018 having joined his team back in December.

Nadal reached the Australian Open final in January, losing an epic five-set match to old rival Roger Federer, in his first Grand Slam since brining Moya on board alongside long-time coaches Toni and Francisco Roig.

“What has been important to me all my life is that things go well for Rafa,” continued Toni Nadal.

“Things have gone sufficiently well at the start of the year, the incorporation of Carlos has been a great success.

“I understand that Rafael is well looked after with Francisco and Carlos.” 

The Nadals have enjoyed one of the longest and most successful coaching relationships in the history of tennis.

Nadal has won 14 Grand Slams under the tutelage of his uncle, tying Pete Sampras for the second most in history behind Federer’s 18.