And Roland Garros,
This is a question that bothers fans of the tournament and beyond. Where will Toni Nadal go to watch the round of 16 between Rafael Nadal and Felix Auger-Aliassim? we explain. Raf’s uncle, his historical coach until 2018, returned to service after a three-year hiatus with (very) great Canadian hope. “Uncle Toni” obviously warned. It’s not possible to sit in Felix’s box, we don’t do that to the family.
The most burnt piece of the 16th District, which, as always, looked like the right guy, joked with reporters after training on the crowded Court No. 13 on Saturday morning. Crowded and wondering if Toni, a part-time FAA coach, would give him some advice during the session. Nothing at all, promising, swearing, spitting, Toni Nadal replied, followed as his shadow by Amazon and Netflix, who is preparing a documentary about the tennis season just like in F1. On the other hand, without laughter, he assures that he is looking for a place on Sunday. “Otherwise it will be on TV.” Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either.
You can imagine Rafa and Felix not escaping the rush of a raise to an elephant in the middle of the living room. The master of the place, a little grumpy for a week, sent an object that looked tired. “I would have no problem with Toni going to his box.” I know the feelings we have for each other, I know he wants the best for me, and I can’t imagine he wants me to lose. The Canadian lengthened a little longer, but it was mainly to fill our imagination: “I’m not going to ask Toni anything, I mean we’re talking about Nadal, we know him pretty well anyway. If it was a secret to beat him, he wouldn’t win here 13 times. “
However, Auger-Aliassime gave more thought to his thinking in English: “You must also remember, because I know that this question often arises, for me Raf’s career, what he did with Toni, is much bigger than tomorrow’s game. Everything he did before goes beyond tomorrow’s match. His career, everything else, my God, goes beyond this game.
The point is that Toni Nadal’s trail is basically difficult to define. Let’s just think of the most successful genius coach in history (16 grand slams), the one who drew the quintessence of the champion he started training at the age of three, or the guy with a good-natured look with basic advice who ever wonders if he wasn’t very lucky when fell to one of the greatest champions in the history of the sport without doing it on purpose?
Maybe in addition, we should see a reason for “Uncle Toni” to return to the arena. Prove that he was not a black passenger of the common destiny of the Nadals, this somewhat annoying grandfather who in his newspaper columns would all too easily fall into the eternal trap “was-better-before” The Countrythe last to pay tribute to Jo-Wilfried Tsong: “His end of career, along with others, forces me to say that we will no longer see a certain style of tennis less accurate, less perfect and less complete than the current style, but which has been able to move fans of the sport more. “
IN JDDBefore the tournament, the tournament director from Mallorca, who rarely says no at the company conference about the secrets of winning coaching, quietly complained that no player on the circuit dared to contact him and ask him for advice. In addition to the FAA, which came to spend a week at the Rafa Nadal Academy last spring. The Raf Academy, or his life’s work. There, Toni and the great champions of tomorrow apply the method that made his nephew the legend of Roland and others.
“We apply training systems that go in this direction and combine them with attitudes that have given Raf so much success during his professional career, such as: mobility, winning character, training and gaming intensity, competitive mentality and concentration,” explains the website. In any case, the first results are flirtatious: Casper Ruud, whose father, a former top 15, was “seduced by the prospect of working with Toni’s vision”, finished 8th in the world at the age of 23 after three years in Mallorca. Jaume Munar is a little further (87th), but those who saw him push Schwartzman to the limit at the beginning of the week know the fighting qualities of the worm.
As for the specific role of Toni Nadal in their progress, a joker. In the series that Amazon gave him last year, it seemed that the director of the academy spent a lot of time training with teenagers and mostly advised them common sense. “Toni has a very pragmatic technical and tactical vision, his job is to simplify and illuminate, his friend and former player Jordi Arrese whispered in the Spanish press in 2018. Tennis is a complicated sport and it looks simple. It may bring fewer technical solutions than others, but in the psychological field it is a phenomenon. “
However, when he joined the Auger-Aliassime team, he first pointed out the Canadian’s weak footwork: Naturally, I have strong blows, but the challenge I have to overcome since I was young is to control this force, to direct it. Toni and I were able to work on my support and make my game more accurate and robust. ”
Rather imperceptible to the naked eye, but surprisingly convincing on paper. Since the arrival of the Iberian wizard on his team, the FAA has reached the grand slam quarter-finals. To continue the series with Roland with Toni hidden in a corner so as not to witness the drama would still be quite a feat.