Rafael Nadal has revealed that he is in constant touch with his uncle Toni despite him not being a part of his coaching staff any longer. The Spaniard conceded that the change in guard did feel a bit strange at first as Toni has been with him his entire life but that does not bother him anymore.
Toni bid farewell to his association with his nephew, as a coach, last year in what was one of the most fulfilling years in the Spaniard's glorious tennis career. Nadal ended the year with seven titles to his name, including two Grand Slams – the French Open and the US Open.
Rafael and Toni have won everything there is to win – 16 Grand Slams, 30 Masters Series titles and two Olympic gold medals in the singles and doubles events – making it a career Golden Slam. Rafa is only the second men's singles player to do it – with Andre Agassi being the other.
Fellow Mallorcan and former World number one Carlos Moya has taken up Toni's position in his coaching team but Nadal insists that his uncle is always there whenever he needs him during tournaments.
"It is a change and like all at first a little strange because he has been all my life by my side. I still share many moments and I have daily contact or telephone in the tournaments," Rafael told Ultima Hora when asked about life without his uncle.
Meanwhile, Nadal has also spoken about his life outside the world of tennis and how he enjoys being with his family and friends. The Spaniard appreciates being close to the people he loves, something that is not always possible when he is on tour.
"Tennis is a very important part of my life and almost always a priority, but it has never been the only thing," Nadal added.
"There are many other things that make me happy. Having close to the people I love, daily contact with my family ... I am a family and I appreciate being from a town. Living with my family and my environment is easier than in a big city. I can see my lifelong friends and I value all this."