Toni Nadal: Rafa a normal guy, but manic
Toni Nadal, the coach and uncle of Rafael, tells 20minutes.es that Novak Djokovic has come back down to earth and his nephew has regained his confidence, but that thinks Rafa is manic. Toni Nadal said that Rafa's victory over Djokovic in the final of Monte Carlo—his first win over the Serbian in their last eight matches—was critical.
"His game became more aggressive and it worked [in Monte Carlo]," Toni said. 'He has also gained in confidence. [The win] took a load off. Djokovic has always been a great player, but to maintain the level of last year's game would be incredible."
Toni Nadal added that while he realizes that his nephew has become a big celebrity, he's just a "normal guy who plays pretty good tennis. What happens is that some people think that this is exceptional. In life there are few exceptional things. What he's been achieved is not easy and there it is, but it's nothing more. Every time we get on court there are the same fears and doubts whether things go well or badly."
Rafa Nadal has said that he is not manic, despite his numerous routines, but Toni thinks otherwise.
"He can say whatever he wants, but a player who places his [water] bottles and treads the lines is manic," Toni said with a laugh. "Once he told me about a movie 'Mission Impossible,' and said, "Who is more manic than the protagonist (Tom Cruise)? And I said, 'Like you.' And he replied: 'No, no.' When you do things over and over without realizing it you are manic. He has told me many times he can stop it and I have told him to. I like things logical. It does not affect his game, but if you need that to play well, we [are headed the wrong way]."