Toni Nadal, the former coach of his nephew Rafael, will resume service by coaching the great Canadian hope Felix Auger-Aliassime, already 2nd in the world at 20 years old.
He was born on August 8 as Roger Federer, and dreams of knowing even 10% of the successes of the Swiss. But it is alongside the coach of Federer’s lifelong rival, Toni Nadal, that Felix Auger-Aliassime will try to reach a milestone in his career. The 20-year-old Canadian player, already 18th in the world, revealed on Thursday, three days before the start of the Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo, that the legendary coach of Rafael Nadal would join his staff, alongside his coach almost always Frédéric Fontang.
“When the offer reached me from him, I told him to come to the Academy (the Rafa Nadal Academy founded by the player on his island of Mallorca, note) for ten days so that he can see if it is that I can offer him may or may not suit him. I was not considering the possibility of coaching another player. Knowing that, as director of the Academy, I can collaborate with a player who has great aspirations, it is a challenge which, personally, satisfies me particularly ”, reacted Toni Nadal, aged 60, according to comments relayed by theAFP.
“If we have to play against Rafa, I will not sit on either of the two benches”
Coach of Rafael Nadal from 1990 to 2017, Toni Nadal won 75 titles with his nephew, including 16 Grand Slam tournaments. He will now try to bring his experience to Felix Auger-Aliassime, who signed a very decent start to the season, with a final at the Murray River Open in Melbourne, a round of 16 at the Australian Open and a quarterfinal. final in Acapulco. But the Canadian still knows a block when taking the last step, with already seven defeats in seven finals since the start of his career.
What if “FAA” and Rafael Nadal were to clash in the coming weeks? “If we have to play against Rafa, I will not sit on either of the two benches, out of respect for both players and because I am still the director of the Academy, I continue to work for him and I am his uncle. But if he has to lose to someone, I hope it will be against Felix. I’ll never stop being Rafael’s uncle, we’ve been linked for many years. I hope that in the future it will be Felix who will be the world n ° 1. For the moment, he must progress ”, says Toni Nadal. So far, the Spaniard and the Canadian have faced each other only once, in Madrid in 2019, and Nadal had won 6-3, 6-3.