• Tennis

Easy to coach Nadal because he is family, admits Uncle Toni

ESPN staff
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Rafael Nadal has been coached by Uncle Toni since he was three © AP
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Toni Nadal, the uncle and coach of Rafael Nadal, says it is easy to coach his nephew because he is a member of the family, and revealed he can be more honest with the world No. 1.

Toni has been coaching Nadal since the top-ranked player was three years old, and admits he finds his work simple because he is his uncle.

"It's not difficult to coach someone in your family. It's easier. When coaches are getting money from young players, it's difficult as they might not feel as though they can say exactly what they think, and what the players need to work on," Toni Nadal said.

Nadal has gone on to win 13 Grand Slam titles, including a record eight French Opens, and Toni believes coaches who are not related to the players could take advantage of them.

"They [coaches] could just end up saying what the player want to hear because they don't want to lose the money from coaching the players. They might be thinking, 'I earn so much money from my players and so it's not a good moment to say anything they don't want to hear'," Toni said.

"For me, it's so much easier with Rafa as I'm part of the family, I'm the uncle. You can say what you want. You can say, 'this is good' and 'this is not so good'."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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