Antonio "Toni" Nadal Homar (Spanish pronunciation: [anˈtonjo ˈtoni naˈðal oˈmaɾ]; born 21 February 1961) is a Spanish tennis coach. Toni Nadal is the uncle and ex-coach of tennis player Rafael Nadal and the elder brother of Spanish professional footballer Miguel Ángel Nadal. With 16 Grand Slam titles won by his nephew Rafael Nadal, he was the most successful coach in the history of tennis until Marián Vajda surpassed him in 2020, when Vajda and his player Novak Djokovic won their 17th Grand Slam title together.
Toni Nadal during practices at the 2015 Aegon Championships in London
|Born||21 February 1961|
|Coaching career (1990–2017)|
Rafael Nadal (1990–2017)
|Coachee Singles Titles total||75|
|Coachee(s) Doubles Titles total||11|
|List of notable tournaments|
|Coaching awards and records|
List of career achievements by Rafael Nadal
Toni Nadal, who was born into a Spanish family and has two other siblings, brothers. His younger brother Miguel became a professional football player for FC Barcelona. Toni Nadal tried participating in several sports including football, table tennis, and swimming. He achieved the title of junior champion of Balearic Islands in his table tennis career. He was the first of his siblings to play ground tennis when he started doing so at fourteen years old. Nadal was inspired to join the sport when he saw Ilie Năstase win the Barcelona Masters in 1972.
Nadal worked as a tennis coach and as a manager for a tennis club. He obtained a trainer's degree and taught at the tennis club his brother Miguel was a member of in Manacor. Nadal also became a manager of the Manacor tennis club while teaching younger students. At this time, Nadal began coaching his nephew, Rafael Nadal. The majority of Toni Nadal's coaching career has been spent with Rafael.
Nadal has described his coaching style as 'hard', saying that he occasionally puts too much pressure on Rafael, but that he does so because he wants him to succeed. When Rafael was younger, he would be nervous of having lessons by himself with Nadal. Rafael stated that as a child he would sometimes return home from tennis lessons crying. Nadal feels being such a hard coach would make his pupils better tennis players.
Nadal required that his pupils show respect for their equipment, and stated that he would immediately stop coaching Rafael if he ever threw his racket out of frustration. Nadal believes that throwing a tennis racket showed a lack of respect towards people who could not afford the same equipment and the sport itself.
Nadal strives to teach players to be responsible for themselves. He trained Rafael on poor tennis courts with old tennis balls to show that it was not the equipment that would decide if he won or lost. He believed that losing was a fact of competing in sports and that the only one responsible for winning or losing was the player.
Nadal had an authoritarian attitude with the players that he coached. He wanted his opinions to be important to players he was coaching rather than it just being advice. He did not want to be paid by Rafael Nadal because he believed that it would make him less of an important figure. Without being paid, he could say whatever he felt without a chance of Rafael being able to fire him like a regular coach.
Toni Nadal was the record holder of the most Grand Slam titles won as a coach with 16 until February 2, 2020, when Marián Vajda and Novak Djokovic won their 17th Grand Slam title together in the Australian Open, giving Vajda the sole possession of the top position in the history of tennis.
Toni Nadal previously assumed the lead on coaches' rank list with his 12th Grand Slam title as a coach on June 9, 2013, when Rafael Nadal defeated David Ferrer in the Roland Garros final in Paris, breaking a tie with Lennart Bergelin, coach of Björn Borg between 1974–1981.
Calls for replacementEdit
In 2015, after Rafael Nadal lost in the second round at Wimbledon to Dustin Brown, who was ranked No. 102 at the time, former world No. 1 John McEnroe said on BBC Radio 5 Live that the Spanish tennis star should "get a new damn coach". Rafael had failed to reach the semifinals at all four Grand Slam events that year. In February 2016, at the Buenos Aires Open, Toni Nadal admitted that Rafael would have probably already replaced him had he not been his uncle.
In December 2016, Rafael Nadal added countryman Carlos Moyá, a former number one tennis player in the world to work alongside Toni Nadal as his coach. Toni Nadal was the first one to contact Moyá to see if he would be willing to join Rafael's coaching team thinking it was the perfect time to include him. Carlos is also expected to work with Toni on projects with the Rafa Nadal Academy.
Leaving Rafael Nadal's coaching teamEdit
In late February 2017 Toni Nadal announced he had decided to retire from his nephew's coaching staff. Toni had informed Carlos Moya and his brother (and Rafael's father) Sebastián of his intentions. Toni originally withheld the knowledge of his plans to separate from Rafael, who found out when the news was released to the press. Toni did not tell Rafael about his decision because he did not want to distract Rafael from playing tennis. Toni stated that he later regretted keeping this information from his nephew.
Rafael mentioned that he is happy to know Toni is doing what he wants and does not hold any resentment towards his departure. Rafael said he believed it was a good time for Toni to focus on projects like the Academy.
- "Toni Nadal Interview- French Tennis Magazine" (PDF). French Tennis Magazine. 413. October 2010.
- Kay, Dimitri. "Tennis Profile: The Man Behind The Player, Toni Nadal". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
- "Rafael Nadal: Uncle Toni terrified me but without him I'd be nothing". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
- http://www.nadalnews.com/2010/09/29/interview-with-toni-i-prefer-being-too-hard/[permanent dead link]
- "Wimbledon 2015: McEnroe tells Nadal to 'get a new damn coach'". BBC. 3 July 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- "Toni Nadal: "Si no fuera su tío, Rafa ya me habría sustituido"". El Mundo (in Spanish). 13 February 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Rafael Nadal adds Carlos Moya to coaching team". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
- "Toni Nadal snubbed Rafa after deciding to quit". NewsComAu. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
- "Rafa's classy response to coach's shock exit". NewsComAu. Retrieved 2017-04-17.