Nadal not going anywhere in 2020 says Uncle Toni
Rafael Nadal put the cap on a superlative season with Spain’s sixth Davis Cup trophy in Madrid at the weekend.
And former coach and uncle Toni Nadal can almost guarantee that his 33-year-old nephew will likely continue to contend for trophies next season.
Meanwhile, at age 38, Roger Federer is setting the pace for the invincible duo of himself and his longtime Spanish rival, with the Swiss selling out stadiums in Central and South America last week on a rapid-fire exhibition tour.
Nadal ended 2019 with two Grand Slam titles, two Masters 1000 triumphs and the Davis honours as well as displacing Novak Djokovic in a late-season return to the No 1 ranking; he also stands just one Grand Slam title away from levelling on the all-time best of 20 alongside Federer.
“I heard many experts predict that his career would be short, but the reality is that he has been on the circuit since 2003 and competing at the top level since 2005.
“He has been competing at an elite level for 15 years,” the elder Nadal told Spain’s AS.
“I think he has room to play a few more years. It will depend his tennis and how others evolve. If there are young people who make it too difficult every week you could decide to step away. But I don’t think that will happen.”
Uncle Toni, who stepped down as full-time coach two seasons ago to run his nephew’s tennis academy on the family’s home island of Mallorca,sidestepped queries about Nadal’s chances of reaching his 20th major in 2020.
He warned that the NextGen players such as recent ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev will want to be included in the Grand Slam title conversation next season.
“As things stand, he (Nadal) is (title) favourite at Roland Garros,” Toni said, “InAustralia, Wimbledon and the US Open he will also be among the favourites.
“You will have other options… like Tsitsipas, (Daniil) Medvedev and Zverev are likely to take another step.
“I think there is going to be a change now because Tsitsipas and (twice Paris runner-up) Thiem produced great results at the ATP Finals and things are starting to get closer.”
Written by Bill Scott for Grandslamtennis.online. To read more visit grandslamtennis.online