In an interview to Movistar, Toni Nadal recalled the first time that a 3-year-old Rafael Nadal hit a tennis ball for the first time. 'I remember much that moment and I remember that the first time I launched him a ball, he did a natural movement and the way he did it surprised me', said Toni, who stepped down from his coaching role ahead of 2018 season. 'He was very little, was 3 aged and I wanted him to play but he liked football as well.'
Toni had a very important mental influence on Rafa: 'I understand that life when you want to achieve high goals, is not going to be easy. I wanted him to do things that weren't so easy and I made him have the necessity to achieve something constantly, being aware that it won't be easy all the time.'
He also recalled 2005 season, when Nadal was suffering a serious stress foot injury: 'It has been the worst moment in his career because his specialist said that his high-level career was ended. When you as an athlete get injured, you always go through the worst moment. But Rafa dealt with issues in the best possible way. When he lost so many times to Djokovic, when he won tenth Roland Garros title after not achieving a Grand Slam win in three years...'