In an article shared on El Pais, Toni Nadal commented on his nephew Rafael's withdrawal from the ATP Finals in London after losing to David Goffin in three sets, on Monday.
It was the last match for Toni as Nadal's senior coach, as from 2018 he will be in Mallorca to work at the Rafa Nadal academy. 'It was not a secret that we came to this edition in a bad condition,' Toni admitted. 'And despite previous training sessions giving us a little bit of optimism, when Rafael started to compete, it wasn't working out the way we wanted to.
When I met him in the locker room, I told him the season was very good. He had been through two hard previous seasons, in 2016 his injuries affected not only his results on court, but his confidence too.' The senior Nadal also shared, 'That [his confidence] was the thing I was worried about the most when I spoke to him at the academy in 2016.
We spoke inevitably about tennis, [of how] to improve serve and especially [regain] the forehand again, in order to have a game that suited his age, because he's not 19 now, as he was when winning his first Major.
I told him many times that evolving over the years meant [one knew how] to survive. But above all, I asked him to be willing to win, to have the fighting spirit that had given him so many wins. I think he achieved it. In a few weeks, when Rafa will start training again and will make plans about his next season with Francis Roig and Carlos Moya, he will be satisfied and calm about the fact that he is willing again, which makes him strong and confident.
It will be the moment to set new goals. Winning [the ATP World Tour Finals] will also be among these goals. I am confident that he will do it and I will celebrate it from a distance.' ALSO READ: Andre Agassi: 'Roger Federer can't be considered the GOAT' .