Rafael Nadal is just fine with the new player-mentor relationship between his uncle and longtime coach Toni Nadal and Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime.
For one thing, he’ll be happy to see him more often.
“I am happy to see my uncle here, spend time with him here on the tour again. That’s a positive thing,” Nadal said ahead of the start of the Monte Carlo Masters.
The way the draw shook out, the only way the two would meet in Monte Carlo would be in the final.
“I always said the same: I want the best for Toni. First of all, he doesn’t have to ask me anything, no? He’s my uncle. I am very grateful for all the things that he did for me. I am happy that he’s on the tour a couple of weeks, no?”
As Toni Nadal also mentioned in interviews following the officialisation of the relationship with Auger-Aliassime, Nadal added that the alliance is a positive thing for the Rafa Nadal Academy, as well.
Toni Nadal returns to the ATP Tour, at least in a part-time role, as the director of the academy – as its representative.
“I am happy for him. Happy at the same time that the academy has somebody with such a great player like Felix,” he said. “At the same time, well, Toni has a lot of experience. He knows a lot about this sport. He has all the knowledge that somebody needs. I am sure that going to be an important help for Felix.”
In other words, it’s no big deal.
Practicing well, hoping for good health
Nadal said that he’s playing well, practicing well. And that even though Monte Carlo will only be his second tournament of the season, he had has success before without playing a lot.
“I’m just going step by step, as I always did. I hope to be ready to stay healthy, that’s the main thing. If I am able to stay healthy for the next month and a half, I hope to have my chances to compete at the right level,” he said.
Nadal said his first match would be on Wednesday.