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."
Some good vibes from today’s practice ????????????First match tomorrow ???????????? pic.twitter.com/nfUm7Zg3EV— Félix AugerAliassime (@felixtennis) April 11, 2021
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.