Rafael Nadal and coach Toni Nadal.
In a stunning development, Rafael Nadal's coach and uncle Toni Nadal has said that he will no longer accompany his nephew on tour, and will devote his attention exclusively on his tennis academy.
"By next year I won't follow Rafael on the tour anymore, but I will work only in our academy", Nadal added. "I want to take care of the formation of young talents, which is the most important moment in a tennis player´s growth", Toni told Italian publication Il Tennis Italiano.
The 55-year-old has been with the 14-times grand slam champion since before the Spaniard broke into the big-time by winning the French Open as a teenager in 2005.
The decision to part ways comes a fortnight after his nephew lost a classic five-set battle to Roger Federer in the Australian Open final.
"I will speak to Rafa about it in the coming days. During all these years, we have never been through a crisis".
Former World number one and fellow Mallorcan Carlos Moya joined Nadal's coaching staff this season, hoping to help revive the player's career after two injury-plagued years. "I don't think we will be immediately communicating on this subject", he said.
Toni feels he has been sidelined by Nadal's father and others in the player's entourage. "And my doctors are insisting I take it easy and get sufficient rest before playing again so as to avoid any fresh bout of injuries".