The whole world will be watching Rafael Nadal very closely over the next couple of weeks, as he seeks to win an unprecedented tenth French Open title. While ‘La Decima’ has captured the imagination of tennis fans all over the world, Nadal’s coach, Toni Nadal has tried to relieve some pressure off his player by saying that, Nadal’s toughest Grand Slam victory was in fact his second French Open title.
Speaking to the press ahead of the French Open, Toni Nadal, who is also Rafael’s uncle, said that the most important title was the second French Open title.
Toni also added that Rafael was extremely nervous ahead of his second title at Roland Garros. Rafa was apparently “shaking with nervous energy”, ahead of his French title defense in 2006.
“There is more difference between one and two than between nine and 10.”
“(To go from) nine to 10 is only 11 percent, no more,” Nadal added. “(To go from) one to two is 50 percent. This is the difference. The life of Rafael will not change if he wins this tournament for the 10th time. For us, it was very important to win nine times here, but eight, seven, six or five was also important.”
The Toni-Rafael partnership has helped foster Rafael Nadal into one of the greatest tennis players of all time. But all good things must come to an end, as the ‘King of Clay’ will severe ties with his uncle next year. Former French Open champion, Carlos Moya will take over as the head coach for Rafael Nadal.
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“I see there is some pressure now,” Moya said at Roland Garros. “We don’t talk about ‘La Decima’. But it is there, you feel it, it’s in the air.”
This is what Toni Nadal had to say about his impending retirement,
“When I am here in Paris, I am very happy,” he said. “I go for walks from my hotel, I walked from Montmartre to Notre Dame. But I am also happy at home. Every morning, I wake up with the sun and sea. I try to be happy everywhere.”