'Pablo Cuevas was a difficult opponent for Rafael Nadal', says top coach

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'Pablo Cuevas was a difficult opponent for Rafael Nadal', says top coach

Rafael Nadal's uncle and former coach Toni played a significant role in his nephew's progression to the top of tennis. His phenomenal ability to extrapolate the Majorcan's potential has played a key role in the career of the former world number 1, who is one step away from rival Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slam titles.

Rafa was coached by his uncle from 1990 to 2017 and in that period he totaled 16 majors. Unsurprisingly, sports organizations around the world often ask Toni for advice on how to educate young talent. In a meeting with the Uruguay Tennis Foundation, an NGO that promotes and teaches tennis to children, the 59-year-old Spaniard spoke on a number of topics.

Many did not miss the praise of Pablo Cuevas, who took away the satisfaction of also beating Nadal in the semi-finals of the Rio Open 2016. The Iberian had never lost to Cuevas before, but the Uruguayan has come back up to prevail after an exciting battle.

Toni Nadal on Pablo Cuevas

“Pablo Cuevas has a lot of merit because after having a very serious injury and for a long time, he managed to return with the same intensity and at a great level. When he was psyched up, brick dust was very difficult," Toni Nadal said about Cuevas.

“Uruguay is a country with which we feel almost brothers, we have a common language, we Spaniards feel very close to South America," said Toni. "We always had a very good relationship with the players in that area and with Pablo Cuevas we also trained many times together."

Rafael Nadal's decision to forgo the US Open, where he won the title in the final over Daniil Medvedev last year, caused quite a stir. All the favors of the prediction are on Djokovic's side, who will have to guard his back from the ambitions of the Next Gen.

Those competing at this year's US tennis Open in New York are being asked to sign a contract that rids the tournament of responsibility regarding players' health and safety. The tournament – typically the final of the four Grand Slams – is set to take place from August 31 to September 13, and will be the first major tennis tournament since the Australian Open in February.

A waiver – which must be signed by every player in order to compete at Flushing Meadows – has been leaked and contains startling information in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic. New York remains a virus h*t spot, with new daily cases still ranging around 700.