‘I Was Difficult For Rafa’ - Toni Nadal Opens Up About Working With The World No.2 - UBITENNIS
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‘I Was Difficult For Rafa’ – Toni Nadal Opens Up About Working With The World No.2

The 59-year-old sheds light on how he managed to develop Nadal into one of the sport’s all-time greats.

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The uncle and former coach of Rafael Nadal has admitted that he was both demanding and difficult for the Spaniard, but believes his approach was necessary.

 

Toni Nadal was the person who introduced the 19-time grand slam champion to tennis as a child. From then on, he became Nadal’s principle coach until stepping away from the role in 2017. He now works at his nephews academies as well as other ventures. Nadal won 16 out of his 19 major titles with his uncle in his team. Only rival Roger Federer has won more than him on the tour.

It is without a doubt that Nadal has managed to reach the top of his sport with the help of his former mentor. As to how they have managed to succeed, Toni believes it was achieved with the help of his strict training sessions.

“I think the best thing I did with Rafa was the demand I put on him.” Toni told reporters in Mexico last week.
“He was a guy I always asked to do his best, be it in a European Championship or in daily training. It was more difficult for him to train with me than to win a tournament and in the end, that great daily requirement has allowed him to develop his potential to the maximum.”

33-year-old Nadal has achieved various milestones throughout his record-breaking career. He has ended five seasons as world No.1, won a record 12 French Open trophies and has won more clay court tournaments (59) than any other player in the Open Era. Only three players on the men’s tour have won more ATP titles than Nadal, who currently has 85. They are Ivan Lendl (94), Federer (103) and Jimmy Connors (109).

“It is obvious that he has become the best thanks to his talent and effort, but also his ability to work daily with tremendous commitment.” Said Toni.
“I was difficult for him and I must admit that I was sometimes too hard. My methods: They were always aimed at asking him a little more and to make him feel the pressure and maximum demand.”

Nadal is now coached on the tour by Francisco Roig (2005–) and Carlos Moya (2016-). Although Toni remains committed to his nephew and is still seen at times attending his matches.

Prior to the suspension of the ATP Tour due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Nadal has started 2020 with a win-loss record of 13-3 and has already earned more than $1 million in prize money. After featuring in the final of the ATP Cup and the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, he won the Mexican Open. In Acapulco he eased to the trophy without dropping a set in the entire tournament.

As of this week, Nadal is less than 400 points behind Novak Djokovic in the race to world No.1.

 

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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Brandon Nakashima shocks John Isner to reach first ATP final in Los Cabos

Brandon Nakashima stunned John Isner to reach the final in Los Cabos.

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Brandon Nakashima (@AbiertoLosCabos - Twitter)

The American became the youngest American to reach a final outside the US since Andy Roddick back in 2001.

 

Brandon Nakashima booked his spot in the final beating an out of sorts John Isner 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 28 minutes firing 12 aces and winning 82% points with his first serve.

“It’s always going to be tough playing against him, It’s always so hard to return his serve and try to get into the rallies with him but I tried to get back as many returns as I could and there was blocking or chipping the return or hitting over it and just try to mix it up a lot while getting different looks and I knew when I had the opportunities and when I got close in games I knew I had to take advantage of that as much as possible so luckily I was able to do it and of course taking care of my service games was important as well”.

For the first six games of the opening set, neither player had an issue holding serve but at 3-3, it was the San Diego native with the first chance to break but was denied by the world number 39’s big serve.

At 5-4, the world number 134 had two more chances to break and he got the crucial break and served out the first set.

Winning the first set seemed to invigorate the 19-year-old and he earned an early chance to break in the first game of the second set and broke to take a 1-0 lead. Once again that one break was enough to serve out the match and seal the victory.

After the match, Nakashima spoke about becoming the first American player to reach a final outside the US since Andy Roddick back in 2001.

“It feels great and it’s a big accomplishment for me and of course all the Americans, we like to play in the US but it’s nice to see that I am playing well outside the US and luckily it’s not too far from my home here so I have been enjoying it here a lot both on and off the court and really looking forward to playing tomorrow again”.

Nakashima will face the number one seed Cameron Norrie in the final and can feel confident as the last time these two players met, the American beat him.

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