Toni Nadal introduced his nephew Rafael into tennis when Rafa was three or four, teaching him how to play and always draw the most from himself. After every success, Toni would show the list of previous champions from that event, explaining Rafa that many of them are not in the game anymore, as they didn't work hard enough.
Giving 120% every time on the court, Rafa embraced a pro career at 15, moving to the verge of the top-200 by the end of 2003. In 2004, the young Spaniard toppled world no. 1 Roger Federer in Miami and claimed the first ATP title in Sopot, preparing his assault on the ATP throne from 2005 when he claimed the first Major crown on Roland Garros debut.
The rest is pretty much history and Rafa stands among the best players of all time after winning 19 Majors and 35 Masters 1000 trophies.
Over the years, the clay warrior has experienced incredible battles with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and many other rivals from the top, suffering severe losses and enjoying brilliant victories while never forgetting his uncle's first lessons.
Nadal hasn't thrown a racquet despite spending three decades on the tennis court, learning how to channel his frustration and turn it into his strength.
Toni Nadal stayed with his nephew until the end of 2017, winning the last Major together in Paris in June. He became one of the most accomplished coaches of all time and took over Rafa Nadal Academy and the ATP 250 event in Mallorca.
Continuing with Carlos Moya, Rafa has won ten titles since 2018, standing in the top-2 all the time and moving just one Major title behind Roger Federer. In 2018 and 2019, Nadal conquered five Masters 1000 crowns to remain in front of Novak Djokovic, passing the Serb in the closing stages of the previous season for the fifth year-end no.
1 honor. Nadal's last tournament came in Acapulco in February, lifting the 85th ATP title in Mexico and hoping for more of the same in the rest of the season. "Rafa ended up getting used to my tennis philosophy, assuming a very high demand that I placed on him.
When he was a child and we trained, the first thing I did was to ask him to smile and have a positive attitude. He never threw a racquet because that would have allowed frustration to overcome him. I am bothered by the complaint and frustration, considering that it begins from a feeling of personal overvaluation, of believing that you cannot fail. I did my best to fix that in his approach," Toni Nadal said.
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