Nadal reacts to Uncle Toni, Auger-Aliassime collaboration

Nadal reacts to Uncle Toni, Auger-Aliassime collaboration

The 11-time Monte Carlo Masters champion opened up about former coach and uncle Toni's decision to partner with rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Rafael Nadal says he's happy his uncle Toni's back on tour as a coach—even if he's not coaching him.

Having coached Nadal for most of his career, Toni, who's now running Nadal's tennis academy in Mallorca, has just begun coaching Felix Auger-Aliassime. The pair announced their collaboration a few days ago and will start in Monte Carlo this week.

"I don't have any problem. I always said the same, [that I] want the best for Toni. He's my uncle," Nadal told press at Monte Carlo, where he is also playing.

"I am happy that he's on the tour, [for] a couple of weeks.  I am happy to see my uncle here, spend time with him here."

Nadal expects the partnership to help the 20-year-old Canadian, who has been training at the Rafa Nadal Academy.

"I am happy for him. At the same time, happy the academy has such a great player like Felix," said Nadal "Toni has a lot of experience. He knows a lot about this sport. He has all the knowledge that somebody needs. I am sure that's going to be an important help for Felix."

Nadal will be playing his first event since the Australian Open, where he experienced a back injury before the event

"It took some time to get back on court. I had to do some treatment at home that took a couple of weeks," said Nadal, who did not play Miami.

But he says he's back in shape again as he attempts to dominate yet another clay season and win a record 12th title in Monte Carlo.

"I think I did the right work to be ready. I'm happy the way that I am playing, for the moment my body is in good shape. I am confident, happy with the way I have arrived here," he said.

Nadal, who is coached by Carlos Moya, is No. 3 in the rankings, but could supplant Daniil Medvedev at No. 2 with a good week in Monte Carlo.