20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest players ever to play tennis. In fact, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to state that the Spaniard introduced a different dynamic to the sport in all these years.
While Nadal’s success on the ATP tour is well documented, it is not to be forgotten how his former coach and uncle, Toni Nadal shaped his nephew’s career over many decades.
Besides coaching the 13-time French Open winner on the intricacies of the game, Uncle Toni also was instrumental in explaining and drilling the values of life onto the Spanish sensation’s daily life.
In a recent chat with Haciendote Preguntas, the senior Nadal explained how he asked his nephew to treat victory and defeat in the same manner. Toni also said, failure is not losing a match, but not working on things to get better.
“I think you have to learn from wins and losses because you know both are temporary,” the 60-year-old said. “I didn’t expect my nephew to have to lose for him to want to improve.”
“Because I knew that even if we won, defeat was near, I tried to make him feel positive in both wins and losses. So what is failure? For me, there is only one failure in life: not being ready to do what is necessary,” said Toni.
Defeat is not a failure says Toni Nadal
Over the past 15 years, Rafa has also endured some big losses in his career, from Grand Slams to other marquee tournaments. Yet, the respected coach mentioned how he never considered his nephew’s stutter as a failure.
“I never saw a defeat for Rafael as a failure. No matter how painful it was, whether it was at Wimbledon or the Australian Open, I never considered it a failure. It was a lack of preparation: when we lost, I told Rafael that we weren’t good enough, that we had to work a little harder,” the Mallorcan concluded.