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Uncle Toni opens door to ‘super-coach’ for Nadal

Rafael Nadal’s lifelong mentor, his uncle Toni, has opened the door to hiring a ‘super-coach’ if the 14-time Grand Slam-winner fails to recapture his spark next season. 

Toni Nadal said the 29-year-old should consider following Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and others by bringing in a superstar mentor if the turnaround does not come soon. 

Calls for Nadal to abandon Toni blew up after he flopped at both the French Open, a tournament he has won nine times, and Wimbledon during a dismal run this year. 

“I think you need to ask Rafael,” he said at the China Open in <g data-gr-id="16">Beijing,</g> when asked by AFP if Nadal should consider a new mentor. 

“But we have a group and I’m the coach of Rafael <g data-gr-id="14">forever,</g> since Rafael was three years old... and things were always good for us. “It’s true that this year he’s going a little <g data-gr-id="13">down</g> but I am sure the comeback of Rafael is coming soon. 

“Maybe if next year Rafael is playing not too good, then I think he can think about some changes in his game or in his team.” Top-ranked Djokovic has flourished since adding Boris Becker to his team, winning three Grand Slam titles this year, while Roger Federer, 34, is enjoying an Indian summer under Stefan Edberg. 

Britain’s Andy Murray pioneered the trend when he hired Ivan Lendl as his coach, in what was a surprise move at the time but helped him win two Grand Slam titles and Olympic singles gold.
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