Rafael Nadal and uncle Toni to part ways after 2017 season
Spain's Rafael Nadal leans on the net as he talks to his coach Toni Nadal during a practice session. Photograph: (Reuters)
Rafael Nadal will not be coached by his uncle Toni from next year.
Nadal's uncle Toni, who has coached the 14-time grand slam champion since he was a teenager, told an Italian website Il Tennis Italiano that although he has no problems with his nephew, the inclusion of Carlos Moya in the coaching team has sidelined him.
The decision to part ways comes a fortnight after his nephew lost a classic five-set battle to Roger Federer in the Australian Open final.
"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 last October in Mallorca.
"The relationship with my nephew has always been excellent, in all these years we have never had periods of crisis," he said, but added that he has felt increasingly sidelined since Carlos Costa became Nadal's manager and as the player's father has become more involved.
"The truth is that every year I am making fewer decisions, to the point that I won’t be deciding anything any more!”
Moya, himself a former world number one, became a part of Nadal's entourage this season as the Mallorcan looks to revive his career.
2016 was annus horribilis for Nadal as he failed to go past the quarter-finals of a single grand slam.
Nadal hasn't won a grand slam since winning the French Open for a record ninth time in 2014.
(WION with inputs from Reuters)