Carlos Moya will take over as Rafael Nadal's head coach when uncle and long-time coach Toni Nadal steps down before the start of next season. The former world number one has revealed that his main goal is to get the Spaniard winning against his long-time rival Roger Federer.
Nadal has the edge in the head-to-head between the two players after having won 23 of their 37 meetings, but his last win against the Swiss ace came in the semi-finals of the Australian Open in 2014. Since then Federer has held the upper hand including inflicting defeat three times in 2017.
The recently crowned US Open champion tasted defeat in the final of the Australian Open despite leading in the fifth set and followed that up with back-to-back defeats at the Masters Series events in Indian Wells and Miami with the latter again being in the final.
Moya, who will be travelling with Nadal next season as his head coach admitted that they tried a different approach in Miami, but were still unable to beat Federer. That was the last meeting between the two as they went about conquering the tennis world once again.
The Spaniard won five titles including two Grand Slams – the French Open and the US Open – and returned to world number one after three years. Meanwhile, the Swiss master has won as many which also include two majors – the Australian Open and Wimbledon – and is now ranked number two in the world.
The two could face each other before the end of the season as they battle to finish as the year-end number one and Moya is eager for his player to be ready when the opportunity arises. He believes the competitiveness between the two makes them better and believes Nadal can learn from his long-time rival, who has shown that age is just a number.
"In Miami we tried to change a few things, but it didn't work," Moya said, as quoted by the Independent. "It's about evolving. When you lose two, three, four times to the same guy, you try to find something."
"Unfortunately – or maybe fortunately, I don't know - we haven't had the chance to play against Roger again since Miami, but we look forward to that. Rafa is prepared.
"For me as a tennis fan it's one of the best matches you can see. I would love Rafa to play Roger. They make each other better. For Rafa, having that challenge is something that for sure makes you evolve, makes you improve. You try to look at some of the things that Federer is doing, because what he has done this year at 36 is unbelievable. You always try to learn from the top guys," the former world number one explained.
Moya, however, believes staying fit and healthy is one of the main reasons for Nadal's achievements this season, especially after struggling for fitness in 2016. The Spaniard made it clear that it will still remain their primary focus going into the latter part of the campaign.
Nadal's rivals Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have ended their 2017 campaigns early due to injury and the Spanish tennis legend is no stranger to such events but has shown that it is possible to return from injury absences and return to top form.
"He has not been injured, which for me is key," Moya added. "When you see the other players and how tough it has been for them to be healthy, that's our main goal right now."