Rafael Nadal roar

‘I was often too hard on Rafael Nadal,’ admits uncle and former coach Toni Nadal

Toni Nadal has admitted that he was possibly overly-tough on nephew Rafael Nadal, but he doesn’t regret it.

Rafael Nadal was coached by his uncle in his formative years and for much of his career before moving into the care of Carlos Moya in 2016.

Toni had a reputation for being the toughest of taskmasters, and it’s one that is well-founded according to the man himself.

“I think the best thing I did with Rafa was the demand I put on him.” Toni told the press 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.”

Despite the demands he placed on his nephew, Toni Nadal believes it has been pivotal in Rafael Nadal becoming the player he has.

“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.

“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.”

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.