The announcement of Toni Nadal returning to the ATP tour was a surprise to many. And it is not Rafael Nadal but Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime. Uncle Toni coached his nephew from childhood and through his adult career until he stood down in 2017.
Ranked 22 in the world, Auger-Alliassime should be among the best in the world in years to come. With the addition of uncle Toni, the young Canadian has added a coach of the highest level. The 20-year-old is undeniably one of the most athletic prospects we’ve seen on a tennis court in a long time.
When asked about the new player/coach pairing, Novak Djokovic said “I know Felix has spent quite a bit of time in the past couple years at Rafa’s academy training and getting advice and mentorship from Toni when he was there. Toni probably was excited to explore a new project, a new adventure on the tour with one of the best young tennis players in the world at the moment.”
The world No.1 continued “Felix is a great guy. He’s someone that has hard-working ethics, which is something that is very important for Toni. I wish them all the best. It’s nice to see Toni on the tour. Obviously he’s had his mark with Rafa for so many years. I feel like he can only bring positives to Felix’s game and mindset.”
Can Toni Nadal help Felix Auger-Aliassime to the top of the rankings?
Uncle Toni has done it before. He has helped his nephew to 17 Grand Slam titles over his career. With the combination of Auger-Aliassime’s potential along with Uncle Toni’s ability to get the best of his players, the future looks promising.
It’s difficult to think of a player who has evolved his or her game more than Rafael Nadal throughout his 20-year career. Hopefully, Uncle Toni will do the same to Auger-Aliassime.
What will become of Auger-Aliassime’s tennis remains to be seen. Tennis fans will be eager to see if Toni can add a little bit of “Rafa” to his game.
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