Taking a cue from fellow rivals Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray who have all added tennis legends to their coaching circles, Rafael Nadal joked last night that he’ll continue the trend by maybe hiring John McEnroe.
“Well, I am thinking with McEnroe for me now,” he said with a smile yesterday. “No, seriously for me, I believe in the continuation of the things, something long time work. So my team is the same since I start. I never fired out no one in my career of my team. That is something that I am proud of.
“I am very happy to see these big champions on the tour, see them in the locker room, people that you see on the television when I was a kid is great. I am very happy to see them in the tour.”
Nadal has of course always been with his uncle Toni who has groomed him into the champion that he is.
“Toni knows very well my tennis, knows very well my character. He knows what he has to say to me in the important moments, when I am under pressure, when I am scared, when I am confident. Nobody knows better me than what my team knows me, because all my team knows me since long time ago.
“So I feel very confident with them. Really don’t get really wrong when something bad happens. I really would love to finish my career with the team I have today. I will fight for that.”
Nadal’s return to the Australian Open was cut short when his opponent, Bernard Tomic, had to retire with a groin injury after losing the first set.
Next for the top seeded, top ranked Nadal is another young Australian, 17-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis.
“I practiced with him in the past,” Nadal said. “I met him the other day in the Babolat event. He has a great future and will be a very tough match for me if I am not able to play my best. I going to try to play well.”
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