Rafael Nadal's uncle Toni to work with Felix Auger-Aliassime on clay



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Rafael Nadal's uncle Toni to work with Felix Auger-Aliassime on clay

World no. 22 Felix Auger-Aliassime (dropped out from the top-20 this week after losing Miami points) announced the new name in his coaching staff ahead of Monte Carlo. The young Canadian will work with Rafael Nadal's uncle Toni in Monte Carlo, Madrid and Roland Garros, with the famous coach returning to action for the first time since 2017 when he stopped traveling with Rafa.

In the last couple of years, Toni has been taking care of Nadal's tennis complex in Mallorca, working with the upcoming stars and serving as the tournament director of the ATP 250 Mallorca Open. After four years, Toni returns as the coach, traveling with Felix to Monte Carlo and trying to improve his game and the ranking position.

Last November, Auger-Aliassime announced he would travel to Manacor and train with Rafa in December, spending a great time with Rafa and his uncle, who was on his side of the court during their practice sessions. Impressed by Toni's knowledge, Felix will work with him a couple of times this spring, seeking notable victories and his first ATP title after losing all seven finals he has reached so far!

Speaking about his new challenge, Toni said that he still works for his nephew and that he wouldn't be there if Rafa and Felix meet on the court.

Toni Nadal will work with Felix Auger-Aliassime this spring.

The Montreal native couldn't make an impact in 2020, finishing the season in the same position he entered it after 23 wins and 19 defeats.

Auger-Aliassime suffered three heavy losses at the ATP Cup before reaching the Adelaide semi-final. Felix's first notable result came in February in Rotterdam, advancing into the final and losing in straight sets to Gael Monfils.

A week later, the Canadian was in another indoor final in Marseille, beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas and still waiting for the first ATP crown. Felix scored three victories at the US Open, losing to Dominic Thiem in the last 16 and barely winning a match in Rome, Hamburg and Roland Garros for a terrible clay swing, wanting to improve that this spring.

Competing in his sixth ATP final, Felix suffered the sixth defeat to Alexander Zverev in Cologne, bouncing back a week later at the same place to reach the semi-final. The Canadian finished the season with four straight losses, missing a chance to close the year in the top-20 for the second consecutive year and hoping for a better run in 2021.

The youngster won seven matches in Melbourne, losing his seventh ATP final and falling to Aslan Karatsev in five sets at the Australian Open, wasting two sets to love advantage. "If we get to face Rafa, I won't be in any of the boxes. I'm still the Academy director; I'm still his uncle and work for him," Toni Nadal said.