Toni Nadal: Rafael Nadal is my nephew and I wanted him to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime

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Toni Nadal: Rafael Nadal is my nephew and I wanted him to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime

Coach Toni Nadal revealed he rooted for Rafael Nadal to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime as he noted that the French Open will always be a very special tournament for the Nadal family. On Sunday, Nadal defeated Auger-Aliassime 3-6 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 to progress into the French Open quarterfinal.

Uncle Toni, who parted ways with his nephew in 2017, has been working with Auger-Aliassime since last year. 'Felix is Felix, but my nephew is my nephew. I wanted him to win. For us this tournament will always be special," Toni Nadal said, per Bastien Fachan.

Nadal praised Auger-Aliassime

“He is a great player without a doubt.

One of the best players in the world,” Nadal said of Auger-Aliassime. “He is very young and with a lot of power and mobility. For me, he was a very, very tough opponent today. He does a lot of things well and has been improving and I wish him the very best for the rest of the season.

It is a very important victory for me without a doubt”. Auger-Aliassime got off to a strong start, breaking Nadal twice in the first set to win the opener. After losing the first set, Nadal saved two early break points in the second set, before clinching the lone break of the set in the eighth game.

In the ninth game, Nadal served out for the second set and tied the match to one set apiece. Nadal then dominated the third set, breaking Auger-Aliassime twice to go up by two sets to one. Auger-Aliassime bounced back at the start of the fourth set, opening an early 2-0 lead.

Auger-Aliassime got broken back in the third game but broke Nadal again in the fourth game and then held on to his serve the rest of the set to force a decider. In the fifth set, Nadal earned a break in the eighth game and served out for the match in the following game.

Nadal plays defending French Open champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinal. Nadal was beaten by Djokovic in the semifinal at Roland Garros a year ago.