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RAFAEL NADAL

Toni Nadal: 'In Australia everyone but Rafa knew about my decision'

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by Gatto Luigi

Tennis - The World No. 6's uncle and coach speaks about the decision to stop working with his nephew at the end of the 2017 season

On Tuesday morning in the Rafael Nadal Academy in Manacor, Toni Nadal sits with Sebastian and Rafael Nadal to speak and clarify all what he said in a recent interview on Saturday about splitting with the 14-time Grand Slam champion at the end of this season. After the conversation, with all the normality and professionality of this world uncle and nephew go to practice because there is a very important part of the season to prepare to: Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami are under the corner, and so all the concentration on improving day by day is required.

Interviewed by El Espanol, Toni spoke about it revealing something interesting: 'When we travelled to Australia, I already decided to leave him', the World No. 6's coach said. ' I didn't say anything to Rafael and I regret it. He should have known it directly by me, but in Melbourne I said it to Sebastian and I thought that he would have surely spoken to Rafa. I revealed it to Carlos Moya and the other team members too. I said goodbye to everyone, from the driver to the tournament director because I knew it was my last time there.´

I have been thinking for years about what taking this decision could have costed to me. My wife was the first to know about it. I have the chance to be in the academy and for me this is a motivation. Rafa is in good hands, he will be well followed by Carlos Moya.´;

'It's the right moment to do it', the 55-year-old added. 'I know how much I am old, for how many years I have been going over the World and the pressure I have been feeling because of the competition. I will enjoy this year on the Tour, probably if he wasn't my nephew it would have ended many years before. I had my family with me in some tournaments, but difficulties were there. I liked to do what I did, but at the same time I missed important things.'

The relationship between Toni and Rafa is still good. That's why if he needed to have his uncle next to him in any given moment, even if sustainability, Toni would not say no. 'It could be a possible scenario. In 2018 if Moya said me he cannot travel and Francisco Roig cannot do it too, and they ask me to do it, I would say yes of course. If there were issues with Rafa, I would have stopped today.'

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