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Rafael Nadal thanks uncle Toni, says would never be playing tennis without him

Rafael Nadal's uncle Toni has been his coach throughout his career and had announced earlier in the year that he won't be with the World No. 1 from next season to focuss on his academy.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: September 11, 2017 9:09:19 am
rafael nadal, nadal, rafael nadal uncle, toni nadal, us open, us open 2017, tennis news, sports news, indian express Rafael Nadal’s uncle Toni announced earlier in 2017 that he would be focussing on his academy from next year. (Source: Reuters)

Rafael Nadal paid tribute to his uncle Toni after winning the 2017 US Open title. Toni has been Rafael’s coach throughout his career and had announced earlier in the year that he won’t be travelling with the world no. 1 after this season. “It’s not just one lesson, these are things from since I was three years old,’ he said about what he has learnt, “I can’t thank him enough for the things that he did for me.”

Nadal had to deal with injuries that kept him out for the better part of 2016 before a remarkable resurgence in 2017 that has seen him win two Grand Slam titles and finish as runner up in one. “Probably without him I would never be playing tennis and it’s great I just had somebody like him pushing me all the time,” he said, “I think because he was strong and had great motivation to practise with me since I was a kid, I have been able to get through all these problems I’ve had in my career in terms of injuries. That makes me stronger and I just can say thank you very much to him because, for sure, he’s one of the most important persons in my life.”

Nadal’s win at the Arthur Ashe stadium is the 16th time in his career that he has won a Grand Slam. He is now three titles away to matching Roger Federer’s record for most Grand Slam titles in men’s singles. Both players struggled with injuries that put them far away from being contenders for holding the top two positions in the ATP rankings just a year later. But this season, Federer and Nadal have won two Grand Slams each and in all probability will finish the season top of the rankings. “Personally it’s just unbelievable what happened this year after a couple years with some troubles, injuries, some moments playing not good,” said the 31-year-old about his resurgence, “Since the first important event of the year in Australia I’ve been playing, I think, a very high level of tennis and closed the grand slam year winning here in New York.”

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