Felix Auger-Aliassime, one of the most talented players on tour has appointed Toni Nadal as his coach for the upcoming clay court season. The association of the duo has no definitive end date as Rafael Nadal’s former coach hopes to take the Canadian to newer highs.
Toni Nadal played an instrumental part in Rafael Nadal’s career, coaching him right since his early days. The duo separated in 2016, through a mutual decision, although it was Toni Nadal’s decision to leave the coaching arena. Under his uncle’s guidance, Rafael Nadal won 16 Grandslam titles and went on to become of the greatest tennis players, the world has ever seen.
Toni Nadal stated that Auger-Aliassime was a respectful guy and had a lot of talent in him. He also accepted that it was a sudden change of plans for him, as he was busy managing the Rafa Nadal Academy.
“I never considered before to work for someone else,” he said. “For me it’s a wonderful thing to work with a guy like Felix, first a very educated player, a player that can become one of the best players in the world and become a champion in big tournaments,” Nadal added.
“I could not work with someone unless they are respectful, and have good values because I had the luck to work all my life with a kid that was very respectful and gave a very good image wherever he went,” he said.
Our values and work ethic really aligns: Felix Auger- Aliassime on Toni Nadal
Felix Auger Aliassime first met Toni Nadal at the Rafa Nadal Academy in December, last year when he spent some time there as a part of his pre-season training.
“I will be working with Toni starting from this tournament,” Auger-Aliassime said. I sat down with Fred and my team and parents and I thought to myself it would be good to go to someone who has been at the highest level of our sport, who has been to where I want to go,” he added.
“Really it’s gaining advice and experience and just working on a day to day to become a better player. I know there’s no secret tool or recipe or that you just click your fingers and things work out,” the Canadian continued.
“Our values and work ethic really aligns so for me that’s a great thing personally and I’m glad he’s part of my project and hopefully we can do great things in the future,” Auger-Alassime added.
Toni Nadal hopes to see the 22-year as the world number one someday, and would rather witness his nephew, Rafael Nadal lose to the Canadian, then anyone else.
“If (Rafa) has to lose to someone then I would rather him lose to Felix. I’m still his uncle and have many years of involvement with him I hope Felix will be number one in the future. For now he needs to keep improving and I keep being Rafa’s uncle,” he added.