Novak Djokovic

Toni Nadal believes his nephew Rafael Nadal has suffered more defeats to Novak Djokovic than he should have over the course of his career.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have faced each other 58 times on tour, a record in men's tennis. The Spaniard has lost 30 of these encounters, including their Roland Garros semifinal clash this month.

While speaking to La Sexta, Uncle Toni said his nephew should have fared better against the Serb, and declared the Spaniard had to shoulder the responsibility for his defeats.

"Against Djokovic, Rafael failed more than he had to, so he has to take responsibility for this," Toni Nadal said.

Uncle Toni also highlighted how injuries have been a big obstacle for Rafael Nadal in his career. Toni stressed that in the rare instances his nephew complained in the face of adversities, he reminded him of how privileged he was to be in such a position.

"Sometimes the rival was Djokovic, sometimes Federer, other injuries, " explained Toni Nadal. "I would tell him (when he complained): 'Rafael, God has given you the ability to hit the ball very well with your drive and has given you a foot or a knee a little weaker. Life has treated us much better than we expected and what we deserved, so what are we going to complain about?"

"La vida nos trata mejor de lo que esperábamos y que de lo que nos merecíamos, ¿de qué nos vamos a quejar?", confiesa Toni Nadal en @SextaNocheTV #L6Nsinmascarilla https://t.co/05rFRTZKjk

— laSexta Noticias (@sextaNoticias) June 20, 2021

Rafael Nadal's uncle admitted he often marveled at his nephew's ability to play through the pain barrier.

"Sometimes I wondered how this guy is playing with everything he has," uncle Toni said.

The 60-year-old then shed light on his coaching philosophy, highlighting how he always prepared his nephew for worst-case scenarios.

“My idea was to prepare him for difficulty," Toni Nadal said. "I have never been a complacent coach with my nephew although he always believed things were going to be okay. Rafael chose to go as high as possible and I always reminded him that it was going to cost him dearly."

Don't think Rafael Nadal needs advice on retirement: Uncle Toni

Rafael Nadal at the 2021 French Open
Rafael Nadal at the 2021 French Open

Rafael Nadal turned 35 earlier this month. Given his battle with injuries, it is unlikely he will remain on tour for many more years.

In that regard, Toni Nadal was asked if he had ever spoken to his nephew about the latter's retirement. The 60-year-old claimed Rafael Nadal did not need any advice on the topic and that he would retire whenever he saw fit.

"I don't think my nephew needs advice on this," Toni Nadal said. "I am sure that when he sees that he has no choice but to retire, he will retire."

Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discuss it with my team I understand that it is the right decision

Source : https://www.sportskeeda.com/tennis/uncle-toni-says-rafael-nadal-failed-to-novak-djokovic

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Uncle Toni says Rafael Nadal has "failed more than he had to" against Novak Djokovic

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