Rafael Nadal is ending a longstanding relationship…
The 30-year-old Spanish tennis star will part ways with his uncle and longtime coach, Toni Nadal, after the 2017 season.
In an interview with Il Tennis Italiano website, Toni said he wants to focus his attention on Rafa’s academy, which is dedicated to grooming emerging players.
Toni Nadal added that while there is no animosity between Nadal and himself, there has been growing discord in the camp.
“The relationship with my nephew has always been excellent, in all these years we have never had periods of crisis,” Toni said to the website. “[But] the truth is that every year I am making fewer decisions, to the point that I won’t be deciding anything anymore.”
Until Nadal brought on former world No. 1 Carlos Moya into his coaching circle late last season, Toni had been Nadal’s only mentor.
Under the guidance of Toni, Nadal won 14 Grand Slam titles, tied for second most all time. Nadal also captured a record nine French Open championships and is widely considered the greatest clay-court player of all time.
Three weeks ago, Nadal fell to longtime rival Roger Federer in the final of the Australian Open. Despite the loss, the run came as a positive sign for Nadal, who had not reached a major final in nearly three years.