Toni Nadal, who will launch his new coaching stint with rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Monte Carlo Masters, has opened up on the possibility of his understudy running into his nephew Rafael Nadal at the prestigious clay-court event.
Also, a long-time helmer of his nephew, Toni coached Nadal to 16 of his 20 Grand Slam titles and is considered the second-most successful coach after Slovakian Marian Vajda, whose continuing coaching stint with current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, has produced 18 Grand Slam titles.
Toni says he will neither support Rafael Nadal nor Felix Auger-Aliassime if they play each other at Monte Carlo
In an interview with Spanish daily Marca, Toni said that he will neither be seen with his nephew’s team nor that of the Canadian if the two were to play each other, “out of respect for both players.”
“If we have to play with Rafa, I will not be on either of the two benches out of respect for both players,” the veteran coach said.
(Quotes have been translated with Google Translate)
He added that since he is still associated with his nephew’s tennis academy in Mallorca as its director, it might not be appropriate for him to be seen cheering on Felix in a faceoff against Nadal.
“I am still the director of the Academy, I continue to work for him and I am Rafael’s uncle. I have a special affection, as (is) normal, for my nephew,” Toni added.
He said that though he won’t hold back advice and inputs to Felix in order to plot Nadal’s defeat, should they meet at some stage of the Masters, his professional commitment to his nephew’s rival won’t take away from his feelings for Rafa. Toni added that his affection for the 20-time Grand Slam champion grew in the years he was with him professionally and it will remain.
Toni Nadal said Felix Auger-Aliassime has potential to be World No. 1
He said that he has high hopes for Felix and does see him as a potential World No. 1.
However, talent alone won’t take the Canadian to his desired place in the sport, as he has to put in the hard yards at practice and continue making his game stronger.
“I hope that in the future Felix will be No. 1 in the world. For now, he has to improve,” Toni said.
Felix had recently shared a picture of himself with the veteran coach on his social media handles and tagged it with a welcome message welcoming Toni aboard his team.
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