Rafa Nadal and his uncle Toni during a training session. | YOAN VALAT - EFE - EPA


Majorcan Toni Nadal has admitted that he was possibly overly-tough on nephew Rafael Nadal, but he doesn’t regret it.

Rafael Nadal was coached by his uncle in his formative years and for much of his career before moving into the care of Carlos Moya in 2016. Toni had a reputation for being the toughest of taskmasters, and it’s one that is well-founded according to the man himself.
“I think the best thing I did with Rafa was the demand I put on him.” Toni said. “He was a guy I always asked to do his best, be it in a European Championship or in daily training."

“It was more difficult for him to train with me than to win a tournament and in the end, that great daily requirement has allowed him to develop his potential to the maximum.

Despite the demands he placed on his nephew, Toni Nadal believes it has been pivotal in Rafael Nadal becoming the player he has.

“It is obvious that he has become the best thanks to his talent and effort, but also his ability to work daily with tremendous commitment. I was difficult for him and I must admit that I was sometimes too hard."

“My methods: They were always aimed at asking him a little more and to make him feel the pressure and maximum demand.”

Nadal has won a total of 19 Grand Slams and 12 of these have come from Roland Garros.

It’s no question that Nadal is the greatest clay-court player of all time – thus making his insight hold more meaning. Nadal recently shared that he thinks his rival and crowd favourite Roger Federer is one of the best clay-court players of all time.

This is a huge endorsement as Nadal is no question on top of the mountain regarding the clay court surface.