Rafael Nadal is one of the biggest, and most popular names to have ever taken to a tennis court. Just as popular is his long-time mentor and former coach, Toni, who also happens to be Rafa’s uncle. Toni Nadal expressed his thoughts recently on their highly successful partnership.
Nadal is already one of the most successful players in tennis, and he still has years to go before hanging up his racket. What is more interesting than his achievements is the process that went into it.
Looking at one of Rafa’s two biggest rivals in Roger Federer, there is a stark difference between the two. If Nadal is the product of acquiring new skills, adaptation, and hard work, Federer seems more of a natural talent if there ever was one.
Not to say Federer does not work hard; you don’t win 20 Grand Slam titles and stay on top of the game well after the age of 35 unless you work hard.
How Rafael Nadal rose to the top
One thing is for sure, the Spaniard has worked tremendously hard over the years to get to where he is now- in a position to challenge most records held by Federer.
His uncle, Toni, has played a significant role in developing Rafa as a kid and then fine-tuning his game as the years went by.
Toni had his say on the matter last week.
“I think the best thing I did with Rafa was the demand I put on him. He was a guy I always asked to do his best, be it in a European Championship or in daily training. It was more difficult for him to train with me than to win a tournament. That great daily requirement has allowed him to develop his potential to the maximum.”
Uncle Toni pushed Rafa to his absolute limits in training itself. So, when he stepped out on the courts, he was already at his intense best. This has been quite a distinguishing aspect of his game- he plays every point as his last.
“I was difficult for him and I must admit that I was sometimes too hard. My methods were always aimed at asking him a little more, to make him feel the pressure and maximum demand.”
There is no doubting how well Toni’s mentoring worked out for Rafael. When Toni stepped down as his coach in 2017, the pair had managed an awesome tally of titles.
Apart from the 14 Grand Slams, he also had countless other elite titles and achievements to his name.
As Toni stepped away, Rafa’s good friend and former World No. 1 Carlos Moya took over the reins. Uncle Toni now mentors young players in Rafa’s tennis academy, while also dabbling in other matters.
Posts on Related Topics
KATE, Duchess of Cambridge makes jaws drop after sharing a breathtaking picture from the Lake District
The Duchess of Cambridge spent an active day on land and water in the Lake District in the rugged northwest of England.
As part of her ongoing campaign to showcase the benefits of spending time in nature, Kate kicked off the day by going mountain biking with some air cadets.
The mother of three, 39, “passionately believes that spending time outdoors plays a pivotal role in children and young people’s future health and happiness, building foundations that last over a lifetime by encouraging active exploration and the opportunity to form and strengthen positive relationships,” according to the palace.
When she visited the area in June 2019 with Prince William, Kate told locals that her children love the area and walking in the fells. She also recalled how, when she was growing up, she loved to go boulder hopping in the countless streams that criss-cross the mountainsides.
Tuesday’s visit came as the RAF Air Cadets Windermere Adventure Training Centre was opened following a refit costing around $3 million (£2 million). Kate is the Honorary Air Commandant of the Royal Air Force Cadets. Hundreds of cadets from around the U.K. will use the center during their visits to the spectacular Lake District “to build their confidence and leadership skills” as they work toward achieving their Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Kate’s office at Kensington Palace said.
After her morning with the air cadets, Kate was set to hear more about how the stunning lakeland area also provided healing from one of Europe’s darkest chapters: the aftermath of the Holocaust.
She joined a boat trip with two of the Windermere Children, a group of 300 Holocaust survivors who were brought to stay in the Lake District in 1945 to help them recuperate following the atrocities they experienced in concentration camps and the ghettos of Nazi-occupied Europe.
“She was absolutely delightful,” Ike Alterman, a 93-year-old survivor from Poland who was a prisoner at Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Theresienstadt, told PEOPLE. “We laughed, she asked questions and she wanted to know the answers. We talked about her kids and my kids, and how we love the lakes. I have two girls and two grandchildren. I told her what happened to me during the war and when I arrived and how I progressed in business later.”
He added, “I didn’t know what to expect, but we spoke like a couple of friends. She was so down-to-Earth.”
Arek Hersh, 92, was also joined by the Duchess on the boat. A survivor of Auschwitz, he lost his parents and his brothers and sisters — in total 81 members of his family perished. He settled in Leeds, Yorkshire, and worked as a mechanic and, in later years, as a landlord for students in the city. He is featured in the 2020 film The Windermere Children and the documentary The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words.
“It was very nice. She was very interested,” he told PEOPLE. “It brought back happy memories of being on the lake.”
This group of children were called the ‘Windermere Children’. I wanted to be able to meet some of the survivors Ike & Arek in person to hear their stories; about how they went on to create their own companies, write a book & to this day, still sneak in the odd round of golf.(2/3) pic.twitter.com/XNTimAxZ8K
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) September 21, 2021
The Duchess’s office explained she wanted to meet some of those who came to the area at the time and hear how they had been helped to heal from their traumatic experiences by undertaking outdoor recreation, sport and art therapy at the Calgarth Estate nearby.
That poignant part of Kate’s visit to the Lake District very much fit in with both her and the other royals’ desire to engender religious tolerance and understanding, as well as to find imaginative ways to educate about past atrocities.
Last year, Kate highlighted some of the incredible stories of survival amid the Nazi occupation of much of Europe when she photographed Holocaust survivors and their grandchildren.
Tiger Woods Joins Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, Others in NFT Craze: Partners With Tom Brady’s New Company
Over the last few months, we’ve all seen athletes release NFTs (nonfungible tokens) of their own. The buzz around those has increased with time, players as well as fans including in this digital collecting. This time, golf icon Tiger Woods is the latest addition to a list of celebrities to release a line of NFTs online.
According to recent reports, Woods taking part in this recent craze is via a company linked to NFL star Tom Brady. Let’s take a look at what exactly Woods has invested in.
THROWBACK : WATCH When Serena Williams Called Maria Sharapova B*TCH
Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova is one of the most heated rivalries in the women’s game. Their match-ups have always been the most compelling ones. The viewership of their battles has been sky-rocketing compared to other rivalries on the WTA Tour.
There is some kind of friction existing between the two of them and the Grand Slam champions have never really got along with each other. In Sharapova’s autobiography, Unstoppable its mentioned their relationship has some kind of ‘intense antagonism.’
Post her two consecutive defeats, Williams has been ruthless against Sharapova on all the surfaces. Sharapova must have stunned the world by defeating Williams at Wimbledon 2004 finals and WTA Championships, but she lost 20 consecutive matches against the American veteran tennis player.
The heated-rivalry of women’s track has witnessed some bitter moments. One of them took place on Rod Laver Arena during the Australian Open 2007 finals. Serena was steamrolling over Maria in the first set with a 5-0 lead. Sharapova released her serve and later Williams charged onto the net.
The Russian wasn’t holding back, even she sprinted to the net, and in a blink of an eye, she smashed the ball on Serena Williams. A frustrated Serena moved back to the baseline for the next reception and simultaneously uttered the ‘B’ word.
Later, Williams thrashed the Russian ace 6-1, 6-2 and clinched her third Australian Open title.
“I will never lose to that little bitch again” – Serena Williams
According to Maria Sharapova’s autobiography, Unstoppable, Serena was super-annoyed after losing to the lanky Russian at Wimbledon 2004. The battle could be termed as Williams, the physical Goliath vs Sharapova, like David.
The American just couldn’t accept her Wimbledon final defeat to a 17-year-old skinny girl. Out of disappointment, Serena once used the ‘B’ word for Maria.
“Not long after the tournament, I heard that Serena told a friend — who then told me — ‘I will never lose to that little bitch again,’” Sharapova depicted in her book.
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova (Picture Courtesy: USTA)
The salty rivalry of the women’s game concluded at Flushing Meadows during US Open 2019. In their very-first round-one WTA match-up Serena Williams took 59 minutes to crush Sharapova 6-1, 6-1.