In an interview to Diario Vasco, Rafael Nadal's uncle, Toni, explained why the world No. 2 keeps playing tennis after winning 80 career-titles including 17 Grand Slams. What motivates Nadal? 'The first thing is the personal challenge of continuing to be there, being motivated and showing yourself that you are able to win again.
Winning is something you like a lot and have the chance to win another Godó trophy, in Monte Carlo, at Roland Garros, Wimbledon or US Open makes Rafa motivated', said Toni. Commenting on the future Nadal's retirement, Toni added: 'Everything in the life has a deadline.
And Rafael, when he notes it, will leave the Tour. For what I know, he is willing to continue a few more years. And if he is healthy he will do it.' Toni feels that next year can be the ultimate change for younger players to breakthrough over the veteran ones: 'The truth is that since the beginning I said that (Novak) Djokovic would come to the top again when his quality was not high enough to trust him.
People writing him off surprised me. It can be that in 2019 the generational change happens. Younger guys gave an important step forward this year. Karen Khachanov was able to beat Djokovic in the Paris Masters final, Alexander Zverev defeated Nole as well in London, Shapovalov is the youngest guy but he can keep progressing too...
You have a big group with Coric or Thiem that are about to make the final step. Rafael, Djokovic, Federer and others know that they will have to deal with younger guys.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title