Toni Nadal: 'I keep spending time with Rafael, but not on a tennis court'
In an interview to El Pais, Rafael Nadal's uncle Toni was asked what his nephew would have been if he was not humble.
"Tennis-wise, the same thing", said Toni. "I see players who are not very humble and they are still at the top.
You can be very good without humility too and you can play very well without values, then if you add talent to development having a series of values is better. When Rafael was a kid I was the one who told him what to do. I was maybe 30 or a little younger and he was 12, so it was logical.
He had to listen. But as he grew up I did not have to tell him what to do. My job got less. He is aware of what he is. Another thing is what he does, what he does pretty well, but he does not stop playing tennis.
He is intrigued, but there are politics or directors who praise Rafael's behaviour and then they do not do the same."
"He has the ability to discuss everything, although always in a good way. What I like to answer because you need to know what you have to tell a player. I always tried to make him find solutions on his own. You have to be able to reflect."
Toni concluded: "I obviously keep spending time with him, speaking or playing golf, but not in the professional. Now he has two coached that mark the way.
I was his coach but I am not anymore. I have the work at the Academy and also some speeches, but my job is, especially, about organizing and running the Academy.
My view of things always starts with the easiness, because I do not like making things complicated. I try to perceive reality in the most possible simple way, and that's what I try to share.
You have no magical formula. I simply told him: 'Rafael, hit the ball as strong as possible, and if it's possible where the opponent doesn't go, and if it's possible outside the court..."