Uncle Toni on priorities

Photo by Julian Finney/ Getty Images

Thanks to k for sending in this article with some quotes from Toni Nadal.

“I suppose we’ll play a little less,” Nadal’s coach and uncle Toni Nadal said before the 23-year-old begins his Rome campaign against Philipp Kohlschreiber on Wednesday.

“(The decision to miss Barcelona) was also related to the need to prepare for the upcoming season, which is hard, and avoid having problems with Wimbledon and Roland Garros.”

Nadal, four times a winner in the Paris major, suffered his first ever defeat at the French Open last May and was then forced to miss the entire grass-court season with tendinitis in his knees.

“The important thing for Rafa is not the ranking, but to be in good shape for every tournament he takes part in, to know that he has the chance to win the tournaments he takes part in,” said Toni.

“This is more important than the ranking for him. Naturally, if on top of this, he has a good ranking, so much the better.”

Toni dismissed the idea that his nephew needed to change his style of play to make it less physical and reduce the demands on his body.

“I don’t see this. He doesn’t have an excessively physical game,” he said.

“This story comes from when Rafa was 17, 18 years old. I don’t think his game is just physical. It’s a game suited to spin. If you look at the matches, I don’t think he runs more than his rivals.”

18 Responses

  1. cindy says:

    pretty good decision uncle toni , rafa’s health comes first if you want him to be on the top tennis court for a long run .
    u’r ganna make it RAFA , vamos

  2. Adriana says:

    I totally agree with his last statement. Some people can’t see how he’s changed his game, but it’s pretty obvious now Rafa runs less than he used to.

    • kefuoe says:

      I agree, Adrianna. Moreover, as I mentioned before, you can’t really look at the rest of the ATP and think Nadal’s physical issues are unique to him and his game.

      • Adriana says:

        But apparently they are unique to Rafa and his game -or that’s what some people will always think. Which is stupid if you ask me given that Davydenko and Del Potro are injured at the moment.

    • Rafangel says:

      To me it’s not the running that’s alarming, it’s the heaviness with which he skids and turns. But I know nothing :)

      LOVE LOVE LOVE the pic :))))) Peaceful and happy and curls akimbo!

  3. Nada H T says:

    Thank you uncle Toni :)

  4. Fay says:

    Well said Uncle T! and I do get sick and tired of the “his game is more physical” record, Rafa has changed his game so much since he was a teenager and its all a bit old now..! Anyway this is one of the most positive interviews from Toni that I have read in a while, its nice to here, and lets hope that Rafa has finally found a solution in coping with the condenced ATP schedule!.. I think Toni would have wanted this many moons ago, but it was Rafa who insisted on playing through injury one might suspect. He will get used to it, if he sees the benefit that can be made from such an adjustment, *fingers crossed* of course..

  5. mel says:

    Go Uncle toni, sometimes it takes a bit disappointment such as happened last year, for it to finally sink in that you need to change.

    Cant wit for the game against Kolshcrieber (sorry abou the spelling) tonight, will be a good game, even though it will be about 1am down under!

  6. Atch2 says:

    Vamos Team Nadal.
    Look forward to many more years of Rafa competing.

  7. Kathy says:

    So happy that Rafa seems to be listening to Uncle Toni’s advice. I remember last year when Rafa showed up injured at Wimbledon and played an exhibition game (he lost) and a reporter asked Toni about Rafa’s injured knees and whether he was ready to play. Toni said if it was up to him they’d be on a plane back to Spain. So Rafa just wanted so badly to play Wimby..guess playing the exh made him see (and feel) that he was still too injured to play. So glad he went home even though it killed him (and his fans) to do so. None of us want to see him playing injured. So, yay Uncle Toni and hugs and best wishes to Rafa for tomorrow and beyond.

  8. kyukee says:

    it’s so difficult to “change” your style of play this late in your career. rafa is a physical player, and that’s what defines rafa’s game. there’s nothing wrong with that. there is certainly nothing wrong with running from all ends of the court, the problems comes when you keep running week in and week out, even the healthiest of players can’t afford to do that. he is human you know. so the change in sched is the best solution for now. Rafa doesn’t have to make points shorter all the time, if he does he’ll be rushing things and that will totally disrupt his play. besides don’t we all love him for his hustle plays, that’s what makes him even more special so why change that.

    • Fay says:

      Kykee, great comments, and yes thats excatly what we love about Rafa, I think he will always in the big matches, run for those unreachable shots, re: montecarlo final v. Verdasco and many more of course! thats what makes him better than the rest in my biased prehaps, opinion, both as a player and for entertainment value, he is special, and classy at the same time..

  9. Silhouette says:

    There are many times recently when watching Rafa play that I feel that he is indeed not running more than the other players. I think the difference is that, somehow, Rafa is able to cover more ground when he runs and the best thing is, he is usually great at retrieving shots. I think that’s why people think his style is very physical. Rafa’s footwork is actually very good esp when on clay courts and such good footwork maybe allows him to cover the court a lot better. When Rafa scrambles around on the court, he recovers so fast while a lot of players don’t recover fast enough when they are scrambling on courts. i think that’s why people say his game is very physical.

    Its totally magical when I see Rafa retrieving a shot that seems unreachable and he wins that point. I’m so glad they are tweaking Rafa’s schedule so that he will be in good form for the important tournaments. Cheers to Rafa and his team!!

  10. Debra Precious says:

    Congrats to RAFA reaching 1/4 final today..& Uncle Tony too. It was a good game nice plays Rafa, l wave the spanish flag on gacebook again. Cheers to all from Canada! VAMOS RAFA !!!!xoxoxo

  11. Debra Precious says:

    VAMOS RAFA ALL THE WAY…..CONGRATS for making The Semies Rafa, Do your best & the rest will look after itself. King :) You are the BEST!! You have nothing to prve you can only improve :))))))& That scares everyone. Your Health U r Looking GREAT!!!! & playing Great.. So Go For It. We are with you all the way win or lose. You still have the best fighting spirit in the game.

    • miri says:

      This post is old and don’t have a darn thing to do about Rafa in the Semis of Madrid (which is what I’m guessing you are talking about?), so I’m confused as to why you are posting your comment here and not on any of the articles about the Madrid tournament.

  12. Debra Precious says:

    Congrads for making the Semies. l think Rafa is the Best most consistent player of all time, and as long as his health is good he will continue to break records, this guy doesn’t change his minset about winning thats half the battle l think. He sincerely loves the challenge and he’s in it for the long haul. Less talk about other things just PLAY Tennis, he’s holdin the trophy’s thats enough said.

  13. Debra Precious says:

    Miri, Would you please be kind enough to blank me out, l am so very sorry to have expressed this on the wrong board. Or tell me hoe to blank these congrats out myself Sincerely Debra